WEST JEFFERSON-West Jefferson’s newest business owner is doing more than cutting and selling meat. Ann Rose, the owner of Rose Mountain Butcher Shoppe, is tweaking a very old business concept with the help of technology and selling to markets that have only opened up in recent years.
She made her switch from Lansing to the old spot that once housed Bohemia’s, at 106 N. Jefferson Ave., on Oct. 2. Here’s what you need to know.
Rose believes butcher shops like hers can thrive– by offering customers things they can’t find anywhere else locally. She can’t compete with the meat departments of chain stores on price alone, but she can offer customers locally raised meats – everything she buys comes from Ashe and adjoining counties – custom offerings like duck sausage and plenty of advice on how customers can get the most bang for their buck in the way they use their meats.
She’s banking on downtown West Jefferson – to take her to the next level. The town’s population is nearly 10 times larger than Lansing’s – and it offers easier access for the majority of Rose’s customers.
She’s all in – Rose has invested nearly the entirety of her retirement savings to get her butcher shop off the ground. The cost to convert the old Bohemia property to her butcher shop alone tops $15,000, she said. Rose Mountain Butcher Shoppe is a venture she said she can’t allow to fail.
And she’s exploiting new markets – like North Carolina’s booming craft beer industry. The Tar Heel state boasts more than 130 craft breweries, with dozens more in the works. She’s already built valuable relationships with four – she sells them custom bratwurst flavors 200 links at a time – and she’s in discussions to supply at least four more breweries.
She used to be a nurse – but she left that career behind in 2005 to return to the farming life she was raised on. She grew or raised much of her own food and lived almost entirely debt free. But her creative juices were flowing and Rose said she wanted to see exactly what kind of business she could create. She opened the original Rose Mountain Butcher Shoppe in Lansing last March.
In just 18 months, she’s learned plenty along the way – like the most efficient way to schedule her meat purchases using online tools like Google Docs. It helps her keep track of which farms have animals scheduled for slaughter, which makes her job easier. By Thanksgiving, she hopes to launch an online ordering system that will allow her to ship shelf-stable products like jerky, or any kind of frozen goodies direct to your door. You can find that order page, along with Rose Mountain’s menu at www.rosemountainbutchershoppe.com
Don’t misunderstand, Rose is still a Lansing cheerleader – due in part to the town’s ongoing $1.2 million Creeper Trail Park expansion. “I love Lansing and always will,” Rose said. “This was the right move for me, for my business, but that doesn’t mean I think Lansing is in trouble. I actually think it’s on the verge of a rebirth.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-846-7164 or Twitter.com/AdamROrr.