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In case anyone is interesred, my main Butcher has hit a rock wall. He was selling like gang busters and now everything is at a stand still. Not just lamb or mutton. He had some building problems that has also drained him money wise.

He is scared.

It involves more than just me but 10 other fams thrown in with him.


But here is the amazing and wonderful part. His competitor called everyone for him to get him some help.


I had farmers calling me to ask what they can do to help him.


I was thinking of trying to figure out some kind of 'thing' to draw people in to try what he has.


He is the most amazing chef!

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Tea, if you're open to ideas, here are a few:

A quick pre-Thanksgiving party at his shop this weekend. Give away tastes of his meats, get a mobile barbque to come in and cook up some samples.

Donate some of his meats to a food pantry.

Anybody know any restaurant owners? Good contacts.

Local food columnists/dining out sorts of writers.

Anybody with any pull publicly in the local slow food movement.

Food/cooking shows (local) that could do a segment about butchers in general

Family finances columnists - segment about the frugality of using a local butcher

Boutique ranchers, smaller herds. Where do they send their clients who buy a calf or lamb for the table?


Good luck to him and you!



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What about processing deer meat - or sending out his info to the ones who DO process deer? There's one processor around here that I know of who is SLAMMED this time of year and not only can he not keep up with the deer that come in, but he has to turn away other business. Just a thought.


Also, I wonder if some of these farms who are impacted might consider doing some sort of farm fest - and having him set up a booth to sell lunch using his own meat? He could not only make money that day but more importantly hand out business cards. :rolleyes:

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How bad is it? Is it a short term problem with cash flow or a long term problem with lack of demand?


Here is an off the wall one for you... What would happen if each family purchased processed lamb from him and sent it out to family members as Christmas presents? Sounds kinda wierd, I know, but food is a great gift, especially if it is something that we do not normally buy. We love it come Thanksgiving and Christmas when the holiday hams and turkeys arrive from Wayne's customers. Thinking about how much each person spends on adult family members for Christmas, $30 sweater = 6lb of lamb. It could be issued in the form of gift certificates too, that way the receipient could pick what they want, they might want burger instead or apply the certificate to future processing....


I guess the key is to figure out how much money it will take to hold him over and if there is a upswing coming in business after the holidays.



I hope it all turns out well.



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When I saw the subject line, I thought perhaps this was a thread about escargot.


Tea it's hard to say what would help without knowing a little more about what the problems are. Is it simply lack of sales coupled with a major capital outlay? If so, you may be facing a serious problem because, at least here in the Northeast, meat consumption goes up in the winter. At this particular point in time, roasts and whole poultry are generally the most popular. Seasonal sales should be on the rise, not falling.


Is he new? Most new food businesses see an initial spurt of business for the first few months to a year, after which they have to start the hard work of getting those customers to become loyal, lifetime customers rather than thrill-seekers and experimenters who then go back to buying at Wally World or wherever they were buying before.


But here again, to really craft a strategy you need to know what the problem is. Are the customers not coming through the door, or are they coming through the door and spending less than they used to? If they're coming through the door but buying less, sampling can be a great way to encourage them to try new things. If they're not coming through the door, he needs to entice them in. This means things like direct mail to the customer list, offers that encourage repeat business such a discount after $x is spent or after y purchases, or a plain old outright pitch like: we've missed you. Take 10 percent off tab when you make your next purchase.


He might also consider asking customers to take a few minutes to fill out a survey about the store, or talk to a random sampling on the phone to see why they stopped coming or reduced their spending. BTW, the owner of the business should not be the one to make those calls, in my opinion. It's very uncomfortable, like having an ex call you up and ask why you stopped loving her.


The harsh light of dawn, however, is this: there is no sense in doing these things if the business is doomed. If you're solving a problem to keep the business afloat so that it can continue with the problem solved, that's one thing. If you're solving a problem and it's just going to return next month, the business needs a change in management at the very least, if indeed it can be saved. In other words, whatever caused the bind he's in now, he needs to not only get out of the bind, but figure out why he got in it and have an effective plan to prevent it from happening again.

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Oh bill,


Part of it is a poet and a artistic chef do not make good buisness people. He is new.


He is doing really good high end meat. But he had some construction last month that lasted for three or four weeks that really slowed him down, people could not get to the front of his store!. His basement flooded with all the rain and poor guy he had to get that fixed.


So basically he spent alot more money than he thought he'd have to. So he couldn't buy product.


This happened I feel at a critical time.


Boy, I don't know honestly if he is doomed or not. He and one other butcher and of course the slow food local type resturants


are supporting our farms. We really want him to succeed. And he is a cool creative funny guy. Very Chefy.


His friend, the other butcher is more of a buisness man and has talked to him about making his buiness more viable. (I think he hired too many friends, they were out of work and he is trying to help them, but sadly he may have done that too soon.)


I will give him everyones ideas.


One idea I had was Wolfgang Puck. I met him at the Seattle Farmers to Chefs meeting. He liked my lamb. He gave me his card but true to form I lost it before I got home. I did not realize how famous he is. I don't know many chefs. Anyway I thought If I could find him and ask him for help maybe he do a guest apprerance.


However my volunteer staffers think I am crazy. So anyway......I guess he is very hard to get a hold of.


I went ahead and donated 4 lamb and 6 mutton so he could keep having product to sell. Something as a non-profit I was just barely able to do.


It is a lesson I suppose.......


I sure hope he makes it. It was really helping us there for a while.


But I sold all my locker lamb and I think we will be ok for now.



(Btw My old Granny picked snails out of her garden and put them in a box of cornmeal for a week then fried them up. )

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When a business runs out of cash, it's game over. Not having cash to buy product to sell is the deathknell of a retail business. Your donation is very kind, and I hope it makes the difference. At the very least, you've banked some more karma.


The problem he's facing now is twofold. First people got out of the habit of shopping there during the construction, and second, if they do come back and the cases are empty they are not likely to come back again. Wolfgang Puck isn't going to change that. Any chance that other suppliers can be prevailed upon to front him more inventory? Can he get some sort of low-interest loan to get goods in the door?

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Charlie and I are working on getting him more product.


We had a hog fiasco....that I will have to write a story about sometime.


Thank you for your help!

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