A question I hear daily is: Are you really a butcher's daughter? The answer is: Yes, I am.
I grew up in the Saint John City Market. My father was a butcher here in the 70's. Sadly, Dad’s stall no longer exists. During the last major renovation to the interior of our market his stall was gutted. His cooler became home to "Winegarden Estate Ltd." for some time. You can still see the rails for hanging meat in the ceiling spanning the width of space he occupied. The empty space leading to the outside at the end of North Market Seafood, (note the stairs leading to his old office) was where he would conduct business, with my brothers, my uncle Donny, & a slew of very patient men, who’d pat me on the head & call me "kid". "Cal’s Meat Mart", very straight-forward, just like my Dad.
What I remember the most was looking out from his office window above. I’d climb on top of his huge oak desk & perch there, looking out onto a bustling market. I remember clever signs on tomatoes that read "hug me, squeeze me, take me home". I’d be assigned important jobs like, making sure no one squeezes the tomatoes", & “better not let anyone bite the potatoes”. Hey ~ he was my Dad, I never doubted or questioned the need for someone to bite a raw potato. I had a job to do, & I took it seriously. You see, as youngest, I wanted to be part of this whole market thing, just like everyone else in my family.
In 2011, when I came in to sell my folk art, at the City Market. The random bench assignment given to me was the one across from his stall, in fact part of his stall, & home of the famous tomatoes. So I spent that summer & fall as a vendor, on the market floor, working in the shadow of the window I peered out of as a child. Needless to say, I got the message.
Fast forward to February 1 of 2012, & with it the opening of The Butcher’s Daughter. Her first location just up the lane from where that childhood wish rooted itself. The need to expand showed itself early on, & in 2015 I spent the first half of the year renovating the stall I occupy today.
Everyday I get to live that wish, right along with my family, & together we are happily, blissfully, actively "part of it".