If you’re interested in browsing through rows of delicately-coiled, handmade sausages, locally-sourced, antibiotic and hormone-free meat, and customized cuts of beef, all with the charm of an old-school, neighbourhood butcher store, then the ForeQuarter Butcher Shop might be the place for you.
Located in the heart of Kitchener, ForeQuarter has quirky offerings like their “Blackberry for Sausage” promotion — which gives you the opportunity to trade in an old Blackberry cell phone for two free sausages. There’s also “Meatloaf Wednesdays” — a Willy Wonka style challenge to find a sausage hidden in one of 10-12 weekly meatloaves for $20 of store credit. This butcher shop prides itself on standing out from the crowd.
When owner Colby LeMoine opened the store on July 15 of this year, they had more than 25 years of butchery and food hospitality experience to bring to the chopping block.
Before ForeQuarter, LeMoine worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years and Bauer Butcher for eight, when he made the decision to take a chance on tackling the meat business his way — one that “brings back the nostalgia of butcher shops of the past.”
He took his passions for butchery, high-quality products and people pleasing, and combined them with the allure of a local, residential aesthetic to create something altogether different.
The community-based meat market centered on customer interaction is a place that throws it back to a time where you knew the name of the person selling you your food with a smile.
“So that was the idea: we were a small neighbourhood shop, where people could walk in or drive and stop by everyday on their way home and pick up something fresh,” LeMoine said.
“It was tucked away, just off Weber Street … sort of that romantic idea of going back to the old-style butcher, where you can go in and get your fresh cuts daily. That’s what we’re trying to recreate here.”
Quickly, word of mouth spread beyond their quiet location, as reports of the caliber of their food reached media outlets like CTV News and The Record.
The praise for ForeQuarter comes as no surprise when you look at where their meat comes from.
With pork from Perth Pork Products, beef from West Grey Premium Beef in Durham and Blackview Farms in Listowel, chicken delivered from Sargent Farms in Milton and features like venison from Bruce County, all of the meat that ForeQuarter brings into their store is never far from home.
LeMoine believes this, among other things, makes a tremendous impact in the quality when compared to chain grocery stores.
“[Our meat] doesn’t go through too many hands. We buy it straight from the abattoirs, straight from our farmer or our suppliers and we buy in big pieces that allows us to take the care and love with it,” he said.
“When it goes on the counter, it’s how it should be treated. It’s not passed through a lot of people — and you lose quality when you do that.”
One aspect that has become the pride, joy and cornerstone of ForeQuarter, is their outlook on customer service.
“We always like to greet people with a smile when they come in and we love to work with customers one-on-one to get them exactly what they want,” LeMoine said.
“If they come in and they don’t see what they want, we want them to feel welcome asking for something and we’re more than glad to help them … [get] exactly what they want.”
It’s difficult to pinpoint what about the business he loves so much, but between the fun and casual atmosphere, variety and diversity in the food he creates, working with local farmers, creating lasting relationships and connections with his customers, as well as getting the chance to see family and friends more often, LeMoine describes it as “a little non-stop party.”
LeMoine is proud of what he does, who he gets the opportunity to work and talk with and the superior quality that’s reflected in his store’s stock.
The dedication that’s behind this charming little business is apparent when you walk through the door and ForeQuarter Butcher Shop will leave you feeling satisfied with their service and products when you walk away from the counter.