Bashaw Meats breaks new ground

Bashaw-and-area residents wanting to buy meat in their hometown are expected to be able to do so

Bashaw-and-area residents wanting to buy meat in their hometown are expected to be able to do so when Bashaw Meats and Sausage re-opens at a new location this summer.

A provincial health inspector forced the business to close in December 2011, but residents vowed from the outset that they would support the owners in their efforts to revive the store.

Bashaw Meats plans to open at its new home on 51 Avenue at the corner of 49 Street on the lot of the former Stephanie’s Restaurant building, which fire destroyed last May.

“We’re looking forward to getting back into business,” said Darren Pearson, who bought the business in 2003 with his wife, Carrie.

“It will be good for the town and for us to be back home again. Lots of people support it and we can hardly wait.”

With the footings already set, the new 42-x-96-foot building is scheduled to be ready to open on the July 1 long weekend.

“The sooner, the better,” Pearson said.

The expanded premises will provide about double the space for retail than at the store’s former Main Street location.

Bashaw Concrete owner Mel Hay recently bought the new Bashaw Meats property to construct the building and lease it to the Pearsons, with the option to buy. Groundwork for the building — made of insulated concrete blocks — is underway.

“This (purchase) is one way I can get this business back into town and help support them,” Hay said. “We can’t afford to lose any businesses.”

About half the space will accommodate retail sales, while the other part will be used for processing, cutting and wrapping.

“Everything will be brand new,” Pearson said. “It will be an old-style meat shop, specializing in homemade products that you can’t buy anywhere else.”

Since the old shop closed, Hay had been working with the Pearsons in trying to find another location.

“We had a hell of a time trying to find a suitable piece of property,” Hay said. “(But) we broke ground and we are ready to roll.”

The town’s founder, Eugene Bashaw, opened Bashaw Meats and Sausage in 1910.

The store grew into one of Bashaw’s longest-serving businesses.