The new shop has a solid selection of meat for sale
Operating a small business takes a leap of faith and commitment, which is why it is exciting to see a new smoked meat shop open along 118 Avenue.
Lindsay Gorda and Tilo Parabalos are partners of YEG Smoked Meats.
“I was a butcher for 10 or 12 years on 95 Street, 108 Avenue. I worked for the Italian butcher there.” Lindsay explains he was looking for a place where the rent would be affordable. “Starting out, I was a little worried about taking on the challenge and paying big rent, and worried if I was going to make $50 a day.” The shop on 84 Street and 118 Avenue was available, so Lindsay and Parabalos snagged it, renovated it, and opened YEG Smoked Meats Ltd on Nov. 16.
“We are also from the north side, about 15 minutes North from here, so it is close to and from home,” adds Nadine Gorda, Lindsay’s wife. They already have customers from all around the city.
Though they are currently only open Friday nights and Saturdays during the day, they have a solid selection of smoked meats to offer. They make five different sausages (four of them are smoked, and one is a fresh Italian sausage), five different pepperonis, smoked side bacon, back bacon, old fashioned hot dogs, their own version of bologna, and a different style of jerky.
“Everybody makes just the sliced jerky, I make [what] they call the Caesar stick, intended for the Caesar drink as a stir stick. Use it as a snack,” explains Lindsay. He promises more to come. “We are going to get the special roasts, marinated steaks, and I’m going to try and do AAA prime steaks for the summertime. Have it all marinated, you just have to pick it up and take it to your barbecue.”
In the meantime, they are open to special orders. “We are starting to get requests for Christmas orders. Christmas hams, Christmas turkeys, meat platters, gift baskets,” explains Lindsay. The gift baskets contain any combination of packaged meats that they sell. “We are kind of leaving it up to the customer,” explains Lindsay. Customers will have options to buy baskets for a variety of prices.
They get their meat delivered from a local distributor in the city and then it gets turned into the finished product. “I have to trim it, grind it, mix it, put it into casing if it’s sausage or pepperoni. Then I smoke it. Then we cool it and then we package it. So, it’s quite a process to get it to the customer,” explains Lindsay.
They started a smoked meat shop because meat processing has been a part of Lindsay’s life since childhood. “I was in the restaurant business for my first career,” Lindsay started to explain, but his wife interjected.
“No, start over,” Nadine says, and explains that Lindsay grew up on a farm.
“We had our own butcher shop and smokehouse on the farm. That’s where I dabbled when I was a teenager. It’s always been my thing. Between the cooking and cutting meat, putting in your own spice blend into it. It’s still a passion,” explains Lindsay, and it shows.
Lindsay is still working a day job in the oil and gas industry, but hopes to retire early and commit to the smoked meat shop fully. Until then, the shop will be open Fridays from 5 to 8 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.
To contact them about special orders, call or email them. Their website is currently under construction.
YEG SMOKED MEATS
8246 118 Ave
Featured Image: Lindsay Gorda (left), with Nadine Gorda (right) at YEG Smoked Meat. | Stephen Strand