Summer time means barbeque season and serious grillers will only cook with the best meats. Whether it’s for a party or trying to impress a date, a good cut of meat can make an amateur look like Gordon Ramsey and B & D Meats is the pinnacle of quality in North Battleford.
Dan Zielke owner and operator of B & D Meats guarantees the meats in his shop are the best in town, because he only buys the best.
“What separates us from the others like M & M’s is they get everything delivered so they don’t have control over the quality where we do everything in house,” Zielke said. “When people come here they know exactly what’s in the products, because I know what’s in my products.”
Zielke used triple A steaks but noticed roughly two in 10 were tough. He switched to Sterling Silver quality steaks. Only 11 per cent of triple A steaks get labelled Sterling Silver. Dan hasn’t been disappointed since.
“There is nothing that ticks me off more than spending money on a big cut of meat just to cook it and it not be tender,” Zielke said. “I guarantee you buy a steak here and it is going to be tender.”
B & D Meats are about more than just cuts of beef. Zielke said their biggest seller is the beef jerky. Zielke makes sure anyone who walks through the doors gets a sample and said it is very rare they don’t walk out with a bag after tasting it.
“As Canadians we love our jerky. Ours is just better than the ones you’ll buy anywhere else. The stores we sell our jerky to tell us it outsells the competitors. We make 70 pounds of jerky four to five times a week and sometimes we sell out. It’s insane. A lot of people say it’s the best beef jerky they’ve ever tasted,” Zielke said.
As popular as Zielke’s jerky is he is just as proud of his Mr. Wiener hotdog line. It is his best seller year round next to the jerky. He created a logo for it and even puts it on t-shirts that can be purchased in the shop.
B & D also makes and sells 900 pounds of burger patties a month during the summer. Something Zielke said is crazy. “That might be normal for a place in Saskatoon but not for a small place like this. I sell so much product my providers are blown away.”
Zielke got into the meat industry at 17 years old landing his first job at Canada Packers in Lethbridge loading boxcars. He got a job in Weyburn, SK. as a meat cutter a few years later at Safeway, working there for eight and a half years. After they shut down he started B & D Meats.
“It’s funny, you know I never planned on being a meat cutter but I had nothing better to do,” Zielke said.
B & D Meats was never intended to be in North Battleford but the city may have saved the company and Zielke. While operating in Weyburn a smokehouse caught fire two days before Christmas burning the building to the ground. Hams were cooking in one and turkeys in the other which were supposed to be delivered to Calgary on Christmas Eve.
Zielke got the call from police telling him the building was on fire at 11:30 p.m. He was at the shop checking on the smokehouses just two hours prior. ZIelke was under insured and said it was the worst day of his life to that point.
“When the police called and told me the building was on fire I didn’t believe them. A lot of tears were shed that day. I lost $500,000 on paper over night,” Zielke said.
Zielke didn’t want to give up and take the losses. Luckily JB Lockers in North Battleford had been looking to sell for roughly a year. One owner had died and the other was looking to exit. Zielke jumped at the chance to for a fresh start and said he couldn’t be happier to come to North Battleford.
“This place has been amazing. The people here totally accepted us with open arms. After two weeks here it felt like home. I gave 30 years of my life to Weyburn and I was treated like an outsider. When the shop burnt down it felt like they didn’t even care,” Zielke said.
JB Lockers was a meat shop as well so the transition was easy for Zielke. He brought all his new recipes to town but admits JB made certain things better than he did. One being the smoked garlic sausage. He threw his recipe out and kept theirs.
Zielke makes customer service a priority. Not just wanting their business but wanting to know them on a personal level.
“I always ask how they are doing and what they do for a living. We have lots of repeat customers here. Some of them come from as far as Calgary and Vancouver. I actually just had a guy order 100 pounds of jerky from Regina,” Zielke said.
At 57 years old Ziekle isn’t looking to expand regardless of how good business is. He just wants to maintain what the shop at 1181-100 St. has been doing. B & D Meats is open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. They are closed Sundays.
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