Nicolas Moyer, Meat Boutique
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up watching my grand-mere, who emigrated from France after the Second World War, cook elaborate meals to entertain friends and family. She would often invite me into the kitchen to help with the preparation, instilling in me a passion for fine foods and friendly atmosphere. When I was old enough to work, I instinctively gravitated towards the food service industry. The hospitality appealed to my “bon vivant” side, and allowed my culinary knowledge and skills to thrive. In the twenty years I spent in food and customer service I worked in almost all aspects of the industry including management, sales, and staff training.
Tell us about your business
Our official opening was April, 2017 however, our mobile store-front/ Boutique was not operational until August, 2017. We carry only ethically sourced poultry, beef, and pork products. All of which are raised locally on family run farms in Ontario. Our seafood is harvested in a sustainable and responsible manner. Our passion and dedication to environmentalism extends to our “Boutique” which is approximately 80% up-cycled materials, some of which were directly diverted from landfill sights. Currently there are two employees (myself and my lovely wife Angela) however we’re hoping to expand by the end of 2018.
What led you to start this business?
My experience in the area of frozen food sales and delivery led me to discover that in today's world, many consumers have become more aware the environment and the impact our dining habits have on it. Not only that, society has really begun to question where their food comes from, whether it was ethically raised, and whether it is a sustainable practice. I recognized that there was a very obvious and definite need in the market for a company that could not only provide these products to the public at competitive pricing, but also offer the convenience of bringing a literal store directly to their door.
What were some of the challenges you faced getting started and how did you overcome them?
I think our biggest obstacle in the very beginning was getting potential investors to understand the whole concept behind the Meat Boutique. Everyone was familiar with the basic business structure, but usually in these business models the product is stored and sold from freezers that are on the back of pick-up trucks. While that concept is proven, and sound, we wanted to offer something a little more convenient and upscale to our clients. The idea of a mobile store is still fairly novel in Ontario however, mobile clothing boutiques are popping up all over the country (there’s even one in London called Street Boutique that’s absolutely astounding!). Overcoming people’s initial skepticism involved lots of visuals of other mobile boutiques, some healthy market research to back up our claims, and an honest assessment of my knowledge and skills within the field.
I would personally like to thank my wife for helping me get through some of the toughest obstacles it took in the past year to get where I am today. Without her, a lot wouldn’t have been possible. I have a lot to be thankful for as she launched my website, runs our social media platforms and she also does all the bookkeeping as well as being a full time mom! Thank you, Angela!
Is there anything currently happening in the London business community that excites you?
I think one of the most exciting things about the London business community is how much they support each other, especially the small and home based businesses. The E.P.I.C. (Entrepreneurs: Promote, Inspire, Connect) networking events put on by the London Small Business has been a fantastic way of networking face to face. As well, online social media has allowed us to come together to offer each other advice, goods and services, or just somewhere to commiserate if you’re having a rough day. This became especially apparent to me during the past holidays, watching other small business owners make efforts to purchase their gifts from fellow local entrepreneurs… it was truly amazing to see the community come together to support one another in such a fantastic way!