Brookville Butcher to open in early May
By John Estridge, Editor
Jason Allen and Dan Rosenberger both grew up in Brookville, and both now make their homes in Brookville.
Thus, they decided to go into business together to bring to Brookville something they believe is essential to the town: a butcher shop and store. They plan to open The Brookville Butcher in the former Aroma's Restaurant.
“Jason came to me earlier this year just to talk,” Rosenberger said.
“I thought he is a Rosenberger; he ought to know something about meat,” Allen said.
While Rosenberger worked at the family business, Rosenberger Main Meat Market, from eighth grade through college, he did not do any of the butchering. However, he loved what he did do.
“When you're part of the family business, you're always part of the business no matter what age you are,” Rosenberger said. “It was mostly clean-up, stocking shelves and carry out. I loved it. I love the small business atmosphere, the interaction with people. If you don't enjoy that, you shouldn't be in small business.”
When they decided on opening a butcher shop, they then thought about location. They wanted to put it on Main Street because Brookville's Main Street is important to both of them. They looked at buildings downtown, but many needed too much work to even open a shop. They then went to Aroma's, which is just off Main Street on Ninth Street, and it was just right.
“I like Main Street,” Allen said. “My idea was to save another building on Main Street. We first looked at some of the older buildings downtown, and it was just going to be too much to restore them. And this place was already set up. We're just going to have to tear a couple of walls out and build a cooler.
“But I wanted to be on Main Street,” he continued. “We could have put it over at our store (Parkside Shell, which he owns with Brad Tebbe). We have room over there, but I think this is a better location.”
Also, this is going to be very different from Rosen-berger's Main Meat Market. It is not going to be a grocery store. There will be grocery items, things associated with meat such as seasonings, sauces, condiments and large cans of green beans and items of that nature that people may need for a party or event.
But it will also be much more.
They plan to have wine and craft beer. They want to have gift ideas. And they are thinking about a sit-down opportunity to eat deli sandwiches, soup and drink a soft drink.
“We're going to have gifts,” Allen said. “If you want to take a gift to a party, you can come here and get it. We're going to try to get beer and wine.”
Also, they may sell coffee for consumption.
“I think the idea with the meat part of the business is to have that 1950s and 60s feel where you come in and people know your name,” Rosenberger said. “They know what you buy. Being greeted by your first name (is important). You know their kids, and you know their parents. I think that's what made Rosenberger's successful all those years.”
“And to have professional butchers (is important),” Allen said.
“You have to have experienced people behind the counter,” Rosenberger said.
With meats, they plan to have beef, pork, chicken, turkey and selected seafood. Also, there will be a deli.
“We will have specialty-cut steaks, sausage, homemade brats and smoked pork chops,” Rosenberger said.
But they also want to have healthier choices such as turkey and ground turkey.
They plan to make arrangements with Kopp's Turkey Sales.
“We're going to build a relationship with Kopp's and get their turkey roll, turkey burger, the ground turkey,” Allen said. “There's people who want that stuff, but they have to go out of town to get it.”
With the seafood, they may buy something like fresh salmon and send out emails to their customer list prior to bringing the salmon in and allowing people to place orders. That is because seafood needs to be sold in a short amount of time.
There will be the salads and items that most people found to be a part of the old Rosenberger experience like the store's ham salad.
“We'll have a deli,” Rosenberger said. “So, we'll have lunch meats and salads. We're going to have all the things that made Rosenberger's special.”
Rosenberger said they may be able to use some old family recipes on some of the available dishes.
And they are going to have delivery available on one or two days a week.
They plan to build a cooler on the east side of the store. They will have a freezer, a cooler for the chicken and another cooler for the other meats.
“We want to cater to the chicken fryers (in the area),” Allen said. “We're talking about having some fryers (for sale), oil, skillet and utensils.”
“We'll do delivery for those guys,” Rosenberger said. “It's amazing how many people will fry eight to 10 chickens per event: birthdays and graduations.”
Allen said with some families in the area, whenever the family gets together, it is a good reason to fry chickens.
There will probably be about eight employees including four or five butchers and cashiers.
They have engaged Graf's to replace all the sidewalks on the Ninth Street side, along with the steps and railings. They plan to take out the bushes and the greenery. They will have concrete from the store to the street.
“People won't have to walk through the grass or the mud,” Rosenberger said.
Hours of operation have not been set. They said they will listen to their customers and what the customers need.
So far, the response they have received from the community has been very good, the two men said.
“I think there's a need for specialty-cut meat,” Allen said.
They said they are looking at an early May opening.
They said the important factor is to listen to the customer.
“We'll grow our business the way the people want it,” Allen said.
“We want to have good products at a fair price and treat people with respect,” Rosenberger said.
“Customer service,” Allen said.
If there are any experienced butchers who would like to work for the new shop, send resumes to email@example.com.