This holiday season, Ottawa Foodie Girlz is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with a festive Q&A style blog series featuring one local business per day. We’ve spent the last few weeks connecting with local business owners and each day we will we will reveal the business, their story, and a special giveaway. That’s right, we have 12 giveaways coming up!
Make sure to check out our 12 days of Christmas event page every day as we reveal the next business. All giveaways will start the day the blog is featured end 5 days later! All photos have been provided by the business, unless otherwise credited.
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....
Why/How/When did you start your business?
My situation may be a bit unique in that my business was pre-existing with a different name and arguably a different concept.
I started Around the Block Butcher Shop (ATB) in June 2013. We were really excited about introducing new product lines; and what I wanted to create was the type of shop I would want to visit. The atmosphere, customer service and selection were key points in building the ATB brand. We wanted to develop a reputation for selling great tasting products, as simple as that. Sourcing ethically raised proteins was a sect of the business that's grown exponentially. The business is still in the infancy stage and so far has been nothing but exciting. Our team has grown to the largest it's ever been.
Owner: David Wallace; Photo credit: Shane Francescut
Tell us about your successes and/or challenges?
One of our biggest challenges has been keeping up with demand and striving for consistent selection. In other words, overcoming the cyclical nature of butchering whole animals. We struggle with our physical space to see all tasks done at all times. We have some new ideas on logistics to overcome these issues that will be implemented very soon. This covers both our biggest success and our biggest fault/challenge in one, I think.
What is your most popular product?
Our most popular product is probably our lean ground beef. It's all hip meat and steak trim, ground multiple times daily. It's not uncommon that when a client asks for some, we have to go grind it to order because it sells too fast for us to have it on display. I love our ground beef.
What do you want people to know about you and your products?
I want people to know that we're just getting started and that we're so thankful and grateful about how ATB has been received in Ottawa. It's been a fantastic run so far!
What's next for ATB is to refine what we already do. I feel it's important to get better at that before moving on to something new. There's lots of talk of another location but it may be premature to mention and might not be the smartest business decision I've ever made (haha!).
Did you know?
Owner, David Wallace is also a member of The Bytown Chef's Collective (BCC). The BCC is a collaborative initiative created by a group of Ottawa Chefs that are focused on creating unique dining experiences in the National Capital and also raising money for charities like Farmworks. FarmWorks is a social enterprise at Operation Come Home (OCH), offering youth between the ages of 16-30 a safe space to develop skills while learning about food, farming, and agriculture. Other members include: Kyle Proulx (Lowertown Brewery), Stephen K. La Salle (The Albion Rooms), Paul Dubeau, Jesse Brett Bell (The Albion Rooms), Ian Carwsell (Manotick Gastropub), and Ian Reed (Courtyard Restaurant). We've become friends with the BCC and have been to a number of their events such as the unforgettable Table Erable.