SPEARFISH — The Butcher Shop in Spearfish has new owners.
Brian and Lynley Mehmen purchased the local meat processing plant from Karen Johnson June 15 following the December passing of owner and operator Dick Johnson.
“We knew Dick, and he always said I should buy it,” said Brian Mehmen. “He knew I was a butcher, and when I would go in there with my own (animals), he’d say, ‘Here’s a knife. Get to work.’ When he passed away we felt terrible.”
Brian and Lynley son, Noah, had recently graduated from college and expressed interest in business Brian Mehmen said. So the family looked at it, crunched the numbers, and found that purchasing the business made sense.
“We are keeping all the employees. They have a great staff,” Mehmen said. “We’re keeping the environment positive and upbeat. Basically, we are adding Noah into the mix.”
And the overall operation at the Butcher Shop will not change either.
“We’re going to add to, but we are not going to change it,” he said. “If you were to go down there now, that front meat case, normally it didn’t have a whole lot of stuff in that, I’m using my understanding of the meat business, and we are filling it up. We are going to have a full service front end, custom, carved, and crafted meat case.”
He said this will include daily fresh cuts and cut to order service as well as smoked sausage and fresh bratwurst using recipes that he learned in Wisconsin.
Mehmen grew up in an agricultural community in Iowa. He said he planned to go to college and become a teacher and coach, but learned those positions were not a good fit for him. So he enrolled in a meat cutting and sausage school in Wisconsin. He said for the first five years of his adult life he worked at a butcher shop and owned his own wild game processing facility before he was recruited into the financial services field.
He still is involved with financial services, and he and his wife own Rolling Bones Outfitters in Spearfish, a hunter/guide matching service.
Mehmem said he plans to overhaul an existing freezer at the Butcher Shop to allow it to be an inspected freezer.
“We want to add on so we can grow our employees’ opportunities,” he said.
Additionally he said he would likely hire a butcher from the same university he attended to help. Ultimately, the additions will allow for more animals to be cut on a daily basis.
Lastly, but truly at the top of his priority list, is to provide, “The highest level of service in the Black Hills,” Mehmen said. “If you would not take a piece of meat to Sunday dinner at Grandma’s, it should not walk out the front door of that butcher shop.
The shop, located at 3204 E. Fairgrounds Loop, and is open Monday through Saturday.
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