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New butcher shop to open in downtown Squamish

Cleveland Meats aims to open just in time for the winter holiday season.
Justin Robertson, owner of Cleveland Meats.

Move over vegetables — there's a new butcher shop coming to town.

Cleveland Meats is slated to come to downtown Squamish, next to Green Olive Market and Cafe, in the next couple of months. 

The business will be mostly focused on serving Squamish residents various types of meats and cuts with a small section where customers can grab to-go eats and other retail.

"Our goal is to bring something that this community needs," said local Justin Robertson, the owner and a butcher at Cleveland Meats. "And I think that is good quality, well-sourced meat."

For Robertson, this has been a long process of revamping his career.

"I was ready for a new job. I owned and operated financial service centres most of my life, and I was travelling a lot, and I started having a young family," said Robertson, adding he wanted to work within the community. 

"I realized I was driving to Vancouver to get my meat because I love cooking and I love barbecuing," he said. "But if I'm doing this, there's got to be other people that are doing it as well."

From there, Robertson said he spoke with friends and, sure enough, others thought Squamish could use its own butcher shop. But, the store didn't automatically come about right away.

"Luckily, I have a very cool wife that let me go back to school, and I learned the trade of butchery and worked at a great shop down in North Vancouver at Two Rivers Meats. And they were able to show me the ropes," he said.

All in all, the process took about three years to get to this point, he said, and now he hopes to open the shop just in time for the winter holiday season.

Robertson explained that the shop would be sourcing its meats from farms based in western Canada. For example, he said lamb and pork would be coming from B.C.-based farms, whereas beef would be coming from a farm in Alberta.

"The lamb and pork will be coming in as whole animals, so we'll actually be doing all of the butchering here and breaking everything down," he said. "With the beef, we just don't quite have the space for it here, so we're bringing in the smaller sub-primals to work on here."

As for costs, Robertson acknowledged that food in Squamish can be pricey, but he also wants to balance costs with farms that are raising their animals sustainably.

"Our main concern is making sure that we're keeping it as fair to the consumer as possible while also making sure that we're working with a farm that is looking after their animals and looking after the sustainability of their lands."

Robertson said the butcher shop will be employing seven or eight people, and there are still opportunities, even if you may not have a lot of experience.

For more information about Cleveland Meats or to get in touch, visit their website

Editor's note: The Squamish Chief is piloting a new business beat based on feedback from readers. We will be covering some brand-new, independent business openings and closings, among other things, as our time and resources allow. To be considered for this pilot project, please email [email protected].


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