‘It’s a gold mine’: customers seek out deals at NAIT’s Retail Meat Store

With the high cost of groceries, many people are shopping around for cheap deals. As Laura Krause reports, NAIT’s retail meat store has seen an increase in demand with the growing cost of groceries.

By Laura Krause

It’s no secret the cost of groceries has gone up, leaving many people shopping around for cheap deals.

NAIT’s Retail Meat Store not only gives students hands-on butchering experience, but it also provides affordable and fresh meat products for customers to buy at a time when the cost of groceries are at an all-time high.

“I don’t go nearly as much as I should to the grocery store, and discovering this here. It’s a little gold mine,” says Andrew Worobetz, who is a customer at NAIT’s Retail Meat Store.

NAIT’s Professional Meat Cutting and Merchandising Program gives students an opportunity to work with beef, bison, pork, lamb, seafood, and poultry products. Students cure, smoke, and process meats and sausage, all while interacting with customers on the storefront.

NAIT’s Retail Meat Store (Photo Credit: Laura Krause, CityNews)

“All of our products come in weekly, so it’s pretty much in and out of our counter within a day or two and it’s pretty much as fresh as you can get it,” says the program instructor, Chris Bradshaw.

“We want to make sure our students get as much practice as they can, so by having affordable items, we want to keep it at about the cost of what we bring it in for. And that way, we can give our customers a great deal,” says Bradshaw. “They get products for a lot cheaper, high quality, and everything is local. And that way, our students get to practice a little more and our customers benefit as well.”

The price of meat saw a 7.3 per cent increase in January compared to the year prior. Bradshaw says their products sell for about 30-40 per cent cheaper than most grocery stores. That kind of savings has really brought in the bargain hunters.

NAIT’s Retail Meat Store (Photo Credit: Laura Krause, CityNews)

“We even had to open our doors an extra day just to help accommodate for the demand,” he says.

Even former meat-cutting and merchandising student, Carl Deleeuw goes out of his way to save a few bucks at the store.

“It’s worth the drive because of retail stores having such high markups, and inflation is driving everything through the roof, so coming here can save you a couple of dollars, and it’s good quality meat,” he says. “It’s cut right in front of you, you can watch everyone working. I’m still working in the industry because of this program.”

It’s a win-win: Customers can save at the till, and NAIT students get real-world education and experience “You feel kind of good that the people doing it are getting experience and it’s not going to waste,” says Worobetz.

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