Ever so happy to see you back; this is our sixth installment of Vendor Highlights, where we dive in and explore a different vendor each week, allowing you to learn more about them and discover their story and some hidden gems. Today, we would like you to meet Chris:
Chris started his journey at a variety store with a somewhat unconventional neighbour: a butcher shop. When the variety store chapter abruptly closed, he definitely felt sad. Seeking comfort, he sauntered to the next-door butcher’s shop and shared a commiserating beer with the owner. Witnessing this camaraderie, the butcher proposed that he Join their Saturday cleanup crew since some time has cleared up for Chris. With a sigh of relief, he accepted the opportunity, especially since it was during the school year.
As summer reeled in, Chris temporarily traded his apron for a lifeguard’s whistle – a very recommended summer gig, Chris says. He said summer was fun, but he was ready to return to the butcher shop. Returning only to find a second butcher had been, let’s say, tenderized out of the equation, with that Bob, the owner, asked him if he would like to take on this role. At this juncture, the allure of school was fading for Chris, and with eager anticipation, he embraced this opportunity. After officially tossing his high school graduation cap, he dove headfirst into full-time butchery in 1980, a commitment he has wholeheartedly embraced ever since.
Fast-forwarding through 13 years of dedicated work with Bob, he was ready for a new slice of life. He dabbled in managing a butcher shop in the scenic Port Stanley. This chapter lasted 5-6 years, ultimately paving the way for the most audacious move yet: launching his family’s own butcher shop. Chris and his wife Anne started Chris’ Country Cuts at the Bellamere Market and transitioned into the Covent Garden Market after two years. Chris and Anne juggled both ventures for a bit of time, then will the closing of Bellamere Market, they dived more into the shop here, capitalizing on the rebuilding Market’s desire for something novel. Chris cherishes the foot traffic and, above all, the chance to banter with his devoted and ever-growing customer base.
Chris, a man of many aprons, not only mastered the art of butchery but also wore the hats of an educator and a radio personality. While teaching at Fanshawe, he stumbled upon Nichole, who is now his apprentice. Besides turning into a butcher extraordinaire, Chris had an appetite for words and decided to spice up his career with radio features. You might just recognize his voice as the auditory backbone of the Mustang Football Team at Western – a butcher by day and a radio enthusiast by night – what an intriguing combination!
Chris’ Country Cuts is way more than a great place to get ethically sourced fresh meat, it’s a place that feels like home. With the help of Chris and Anne’s 3 kids plus their 2 nieces, the business has thrived within this family setting – it is a true family affair!
Vendor highlights are all about shining a spotlight on the heart and soul of each vendor and learning more about the who, the what and the why around their story. If you’ve enjoyed this journey, join us again next week for another vendor and a new highlight as we continue celebrating the outstanding contributors that make our Market a genuinely magical place.