Sanagan’s Meat Locker
Q’s & A’s with Peter Sanagan from Sanagan’s Meat Locker
Give us the backstory on Sanagan’s.
Peter: I’m a chef originally by trade. And about 13 years ago, I decided I wanted to really showcase the great Ontario meats and poultry that I was using in restaurants. I was in my early thirties, and I took a chance. I said, “Let’s go for it.” And I opened a small little butcher shop in Kensington Market in Toronto. And it’s just kind of grown over the years.
What makes Sanagan’s special?
Peter: I have our big store here in the market where we focus on all fresh Ontario meats and poultries from small family farms in Ontario. We also have a great in-house prepared food, charcuterie and deli program too. So yeah, it’s grown in that direction and it makes us a little special, I think, in the market.
We now have customers that order once or twice a week for home delivery because it’s such a fluid and easy process. So from the customer point of view, working with Trexity has been great.
Tell me a little bit about the average day here. Does it get crazy in Kensington Market? What’s the vibe like?
Peter: So an average day in Kensington can be interesting for sure. I’m usually here at about 5:30 in the morning setting up for the day, it’s nice and quiet…but as the day amps up, the market fills up with a ton of people from all walks of life. I love this area because it’s downtown Toronto. You have people working down here, you have people living down here, you have students, you have a great arts community, and they all come together in this particular neighborhood to make it super vibrant. Luckily we’ve cultivated a pretty loyal clientele amongst those groups of people that keep coming in, and we’ll have waves of business coming through here. It’s a very interesting area for a lot of tourists to come through and check out, so we got those people too. It’s really cool.
Tell me how your business has grown.
Peter: So, I can never really stand still to the chagrin of my wife, perhaps, but I always like to keep going and keep moving. We decided to move into this much larger store where we do all the things, including grocery products and things like that. We have a lot of room for that, as well as cooking our own foods. We grew into that space maybe around year five of the business. Since then, I’ve opened a second location in the east end of town. We now also do wholesale and sell to a bunch of restaurants, so that does well too. I’ve written a cookbook that came out a couple years ago. That’s been really well received. Now, the biggest change for us over the last two years has been moving to online ordering and delivery and stuff like that, which has been a real shift for us. But we embraced it wholeheartedly and it’s been really working well with us.
Any other challenges from a growth perspective for Sanagan’s?
Peter: When I opened the business, I was a chef. I was not a business person. So learning how to operate a business and manage a team of, we have 50 people between two stores, managing that kind of amount of moving pieces is one of the biggest challenges any business owner can have. But I’ve cultivated a great team and great management to kind of help us all get to where we need to go. The challenge with any type of growth is finding your footing when you’re doing those things, right? So you rely on good partners to make sure that those tasks and that growth gets facilitated properly.
Tell me a little bit about Trexity as a partner. How did they help you on the home delivery front?
Peter: I feel like Trexity has done a really good job in maintaining, number one, a great dashboard that works really well for me as a business owner. It’s easy to manage. It’s easy to train my staff on my team. The support team behind Trexity has been great getting us set up, as well as troubleshooting as we go along.
We now have customers that order once or twice a week for home delivery because it’s such a fluid and easy process. So from the customer point of view, working with Trexity has been great. They can track their deliveries in real time, which is really strong, especially for meat and cold packed orders. The whole experience has also been great for my team, we’re working with a company that understands our needs and is able to be flexible and can work with us on what we need. So it’s been pretty successful so far, I’d say.
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