You don’t necessarily need to buy meat from a grocery store or directly from a farm. The Professional Meat Cutting and Merchandising program at NAIT also sells meat from September to December and from January to April.
Rob Povey, program chair and instructor, would like customers to “come and see us every week and buy fresh meat.”
Students also benefit from the experience, learning every aspect of meat cutting, ranging from handling a whole animal to creating certain cuts of meat. They also learn to work the cash register and provide customer service.
The majority of the store’s customers are students and staff, but Povey welcomes members of the wider community. Customers can buy freshly packaged and prepared meat; pre-order specific cuts, packages, and varieties of meat; or order a deboned and rolled turkey for Thanksgiving.
Meat products are made without filler, so are gluten friendly, unless otherwise marked.
“Our secret ingredient is meat,” joked Povey.
Products include sausage, kebabs, steaks, roasts, hamburgers, beef jerky, salmon, pepperoni, kubasa, chicken, and turkey.
Staff and students are professional, welcoming, and open to answering any questions you may have.
Parking is a little bit of an issue for off-campus customers. The shop is located in the Common Market on NAIT’s main campus, but there is a 15 minute loading zone directly outside the store which people who are not on campus can use to access the store.
Meat prices are lower than most retail shops, but Povey explained the store cannot compete with the big box store flier prices. NAIT sources the beef from Lakeside Dairy in Bon Accord, and the meat has good marbling and flavour. Pork comes from the Camrose Hutterite Colony, as does some of the chicken. Povey works directly with suppliers and visits the farms where the meat is sourced.
Additionally, students participate in two events in the wider community: Thanksgiving dinner and the Inner City Roast Beef Dinner at Boyle Street.
People take the program for a variety of reasons. Nobel Bains applied to the program before getting a job at The Common. He considers it an “investment in myself and my skills” as he “can work at the restaurant and do all the cuts [of meat]”. When he is finished this program, he will go on to take NAIT’s Culinary Arts program. Mary Turnbul, another student, said she “likes making people happy with food.”
Visit ratcreek.org to see more pictures from NAIT Retail Meat Store.
NAIT RETAIL MEAT STORE
CHAIR: ROB POVEY
COMMON MARKET, NAIT MAIN CAMPUS
11762 106 ST
HOURS: TUES AND WEDS 10 AM TO 5 PM; THURS 10 AM TO 2 PM
MID SEPT. TO MID DEC. AND MID JAN. TO MID APRIL