Family-run butcher business in Victoria closes after 35 years

A Greater Victoria institution for meats – including its haggis – has shut down its three shops after 35 years in operation.

A Greater Victoria institution for meats – including its haggis – has shut down its three shops after 35 years in operation.

Ronald Orr & Son Family Butcher, which had locations in Saanich, Brentwood Bay and most recently Sidney, closed Oct. 20 with little warning.

According to members of the Orr family, who posted statements on the butcher shop’s Facebook page, the poor economy and large supermarket chains are to blame for the end of the business.

“In the United States and Canada, butcher shops are becoming less common because of the increasing popularity of supermarkets,” wrote Lori Magi Orr.

“Supermarkets employ butchers for secondary butchery, but in the United States and Alberta even that role is diminished with the advent of ‘case-ready’ meat, where the product is packaged for retail sale at the packinghouse or specialized central processing plants.”

“A small butcher shop, like my family, can’t survive on selling only the specialty items,” added Julie Hebb on the Facebook page. “When the majority of the population is buying in bulk and mass produced lower quality products, it makes it difficult for the little guy.”

A number of people on the Facebook discussion thanked the Orr clan for years of good meats and service, and lamented the decline of small, neighbourhood shops.

The Orr family haven’t responded to requests for interviews.



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