Bon Ton Meats gives customers what they want
It’s been almost 100 years since Bon Ton Meats started in Calgary but one thing has never changed: the family-owned shop’s commitment to top-quality meats and customer service.
Stop in and say hi. Make your choices and wait a moment or two, while your order — exactly what you wanted — is cut to your specifications, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.
“The philosophy has never changed in all those years. It’s about very old-fashioned business values,” says owner Greg Keller.
“It’s always about the finest quality products, personalized service and sanitation. That’s something we never scrimp on.”
Long a culinary destination for meat lovers in the city, Bon Ton Meats started in 1921 as a tiny store on Seventh Ave. and Centre St. and years later, moved to the Stadium Shopping Centre in northwest Calgary. In 1995, Keller’s father bought the business and a year later, Keller came on board, eventually taking it over.
Five years ago, they relocated to a 7,000-square-foot (650-square-metre) store in the Crowfoot Crossing shopping centre, just off Crowchild Trail N.W. Only a few minutes from downtown, the shop offers plenty of free parking, and the staff has grown to a team of 25. And just like any business, they’ve all seen trends come and go. Back in the early days, those meat pies accounted for roughly 50 per cent of the business, Keller notes. Walk into the store these days, and you’ll still find those legendary pies. But more and more customers want specialty meats and custom cuts, especially for their backyard smokers and barbecues.
“We go through a ton of briskets, pork shoulders, things like that,” plus ready-made salads and takeaway dishes, Keller says. Indeed, Bon Ton has everything you need for your next meal, whether you’re planning a casual mid-week barbecue or an epic family feast.
“The whole foodie thing has really taken off,” Keller says. “People are getting really creative, thanks to cooking shows, all that stuff.” Talk to Keller for even a minute, and you’ll quickly discover he loves what he’s doing. Whether he’s sharing a
quick conversation with a supplier or meeting with a customer, he just wants people to be happy with their Bon Ton experience. “We’re not trying to sell you what we want to sell,” he says. “It’s all about selling you what you want to buy.”