What kind of relationship do you have with your butcher?
While M&M Freezer Locker in Hendersonville is singularly focused on quality meats, Jim Tindal and his franchising partner, Todd Prochaska, have carried that concept to the next level, creating a totally different business at the NY Butcher Shoppe in Greenville.
Jim Tindal and Todd Prochaska are the Victor Kiam’s of the boutique butcher shops. In his TV commercials in the 1990s, Kiam would hold up one of his Remington electric shavers and famously intone, “I liked it so much I bought the company.”
Which is exactly what Tindal and Prochaska did after they opened their first two NY Butcher Shoppe franchises.
The original NYB shop was founded by Bill D’Elia, a native of Brooklyn, who spent most of his career working as a butcher in his home town. He semi-retired from New York to Charleston, SC, and in 1995 went back into the business with his son, Billy. Their business got its name in large part because of D’Elia’s strong Brooklyn accent. His customers talked about “the New York butcher” and the name stuck.
The business started off very strongly thanks to the elder D’Elia’s experience and his son’s ideas and energy. They began to franchise in 2001 and, in 2007, sold the franchise rights to their Greenville franchisees, Tindal and Prochaska.
“We were just regular franchisees,” Tindal says in a soft South Carolina accent that definitely isn’t from Brooklyn. “I had been in the food service business for 16 years after graduating from Clemson, and I saw the NY Butcher Shoppe as a unique opportunity. We had two stores and were making plans for more when the opportunity came to buy the franchising rights from the D’Elia family. We jumped all over it.
“Since then we’ve worked hard to maintain the quality of our products and to really focus on customer service. We’re really in the relationship business. We try to be on a first-name basis with all our customers. We’ll do whatever it takes to meet their needs. We’ll cater an event, and we’ll make sausage to whatever special recipe you might have in your family,” Tindal says. “We make a lot of German sausages to special recipes brought over by some of the BMW employees.”
A nice touch at the NY Butcher Shoppe is the individual business cards proudly displayed on the counter. Adam Sturm is the General Manager of the Augusta Road store. Tom Kloeser is the Master Meat Cutter.
The Augusta Road store can best be described as a neat, clean, and crisply organized business with a dynamite outside sign in a high-visibility, high-traffic strip shopping center. Rents in such locations aren’t cheap. To keep prices down and to draw more customers, Tindal and Prochaska have expanded their offerings to include good wines and pre-packaged complete meals, plus the sausages and custom food preparation.
And the unexpected treats that become mainstays of the business
Looking at the cold case, Tindal points out the Scottish Salmon that isn’t generally found in the Upstate.
“It comes from Loch Duart, and it has become one of our leading products.”
Yes, indeed. On our way out we bump into a customer, Terry Buffkin, who is on his way in to claim some of the Loch Duart salmon. “I’ve been a customer here for about a year and a half,” Buffkin says. “I love the store. All their products are terrific and the people are just delightful.”
Since becoming the franchiser, Tindal and Prochaska have used their practical experience in the retail environment to help reduce costs and increase the income potential for their franchisees. Store sizes have been reduced from the original design, which required a 2500 sq. ft. facility, down to a more manageable store in the range of 1500 sq. ft.. That savings, coupled with strong and ever-improving merchandising, enables start-up business owners to rent less space in more desirable locations.
“First and foremost we focus on customer service and quality,” Tindal says. “We only prepare USDA Prime and High-Choice meats and all our personnel, especially the franchisee, are highly trained and experienced. We want to be the one-stop shop for your evening meal. We offer fresh pasta made by Drake’s in High Point. Our home cooked meals feed two or three people. We offer frozen meals that feed four to six and have party sizes for six to eight.”
NYB clearly is more than just another butcher shop. It really has everything required to complete the meal. “We have crackers and dips, wines, a variety of pre-made salads, potatoes and rolls, too. We’re not trying to overwhelm you with offerings, we just want to be a complete grab-and-go grocery with absolutely the best meats available anywhere.”
The wine selections are extraordinary for such a small store. Prices range from $12 to $100. In the Augusta Road store there are between 180 to 200 facings on display.
“A $12 to $15 bottle is typical,” Tindal says. “We try to have just the right wines to complete the meal. Everything you need for dinner tonight is right here. We count on our customers to let us know if they want something special, or think we should have something else.”
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and Sundays, 12 to 6 PM. To place a special order contact the Augusta Rd. store at 864-233-5449. To inquire about a franchise call Jim Tindal at 864-710-9204.