The Durance barn

The making of a legend

It's hard to imagine a salad without Hagens Dressing! So what came first, the Hagens Dressing or the salad?

Well, back in the early 1960s there was a lovely little restaurant called the Five Acres Steakhouse located on Highway 17 near Eagle Lake, Ontario. It was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hagen. Not only did they prepare a great steak but they made an amazing dressing that became very popular to both locals and travelers alike! After Bill passed away, Mrs. Hagen continued to make and sell the dressing from her home in Vermilion Bay, Ontario.

We then offered to sell the dressing from our gift store, The Red Eagle. Although profits from the dressing went directly to Mrs. Hagen, we certainly saw the potential of this unique product.

Susan Durance purchased the dressing in 1970, and all members of the Durance family including Ross, Helen, Ron, Susan and Judy participated in both the production and promotion. Ron Durance and his chain of Red Eagle gift shops were very instrumental in the increased popularity of the dressing.

In 1977, the Durance family and partner Barry Scherban purchased The Riverview Lodge where Hagens Dressing became the house dressing and once again the dressing increased in popularity. The Red Eagle continued to promote and sell the dressing eventually shipping it across Canada and the United States.

This brings us to today, where we sincerely hope that you enjoy this website!

Mom still makes it and the rest of the Durance family, including Susan's husband Jordon, promotes and sells Hagens Dressing.

We would love to hear from you! If you have a story, a recipe or anything to add, please feel free to do so.

Send us an email at