Lorne’s Butcher Block open for business

Kamsack has a new business in town and it’s already very busy.

Lorne’s Butcher Block opened up on Main Street right across the street from the Affinity Credit Union on September 30, in the building formerly occupied by the Flower Mill and Home Décor Store and Xcessories by Kerry, and so far there has been a steady stream of customers.

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The store is a full service meat market, which includes homemade smoked sausage, fresh sausage, jerky and processing wild game.

The jerky has names such as wild country, pepper, cowboy, teriyaki, honey garlic, and barbecue.

The staff have been kept busy processing wild game as the early draw elk hunting season has been in full swing in the area. The first elk was processed at the shop on September 15.

“It felt good to be processing meat in the new shop,” said Lorne Woytkiw.

Lorne has lived in the Kamsack area for the past six years, is the co-manager of the facility, and the prime butcher.

“I developed my skills as a butcher while working at Benito Meats for 19 years,” he said. “I started as part-time and became full-time, learning on-site as I went and working for two different owners through the years.

“I love all aspects of this job. Cutting meat requires ‘hands on’ skills. I also enjoy working with the public, and getting to know what products my customers want. I just made a new habanero and garlic sausage that I think will be received well. It will be a process to determine what the community wants.

“I enjoy trying new recipes, tweaking them and making them better and inventing my own recipes. I hope to keep a good stock of smoked and fresh sausage on hand as well as homemade sandwich meats, bacon smoked on-site and stuffed roasts.”

Colin Woytkiw is Lorne’s brother and the other trained butcher in the shop. He commutes to Kamsack from his home at Thunder Hill in Manitoba. In the past Colin and Lorne worked together at Benito meats for six years. “We’ve done it all, cutting, processing and wrapping, making everything from sausages to packaged roasts and hamburger,” Lorne said. “One of Colin’s strengths is his fastidious eye for cleanliness with which he oversees the work area.”

Jessi Woytkiw is the store’s co-manager, and front-counter staff. “This is a very much family-run business, she said. Our niece, Natassia Adams, also working the front counter, rounds out our current staff complement, but that may expand as business picks up.

“The decision to open the Butcher Block at this location happened very quickly once this building became available. Lorne had always wanted to open his own shop, and it all fell into place very well.

“The layout of the building is good so it didn’t require major renovations to get all the new equipment set up,” she said.

That equipment included a walk-in freezer, two coolers, a stand-up freezer (with a second on the way), display cases, a smoker, a stuffer and bandsaw, everything a full-service meat shop requires.

Lorne’s will be carrying frozen beef and pork meat packs and will customize orders.

In addition to custom cutting and wrapping of domestic and wild meat, the shop carries a good selection, including gluten free products, sausages (smoked and fresh), beef, pork, chicken, homemade sandwich meat, bacon, meat and cheese trays to order, stuffed roasts and Churchill River pickerel and pike.

“We are stocking products made by In Good Taste Food Service of Togo, including cabbage rolls, perogies, cookies, lamb shishliki and Nanaimo slices,” Jessi continued. “We’re also stocking products from the Roblin Bakery, including cookies, and are carrying Saskatchewan made honey and jams from different crafters.

“In the future we’ll be bringing in a product line supplied by the Boreal Heartland Indigenous group of northern Saskatchewan that will include all-organic hand-picked dried mushrooms and teas.

“We haven’t forgotten about the pets and we carry boxes of dog scraps and bones, as well as smoked bones and ‘pet patties.’

 “We are looking forward to serving our customers needs, and growing our product line to meet those needs,” she concluded.

Customer service is an important part of the Butcher Block. A box on the front counter, placed in a prominent spot, invites people to write down a “product idea” and put it in the box.

For now the store will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. but those hours may change.

Lorne’s Butcher Block has a slogan on their business card that sums up the new business and it reads: “Pleased to meet you…Meat to please you.”