Grand weather for a grand opening

WAVING THEM IN – Killarney Meats employee Mikyle Babych and 14-month-old Max Jensen wave the customers in for their Grand Opening BBQ last Saturday. Great weather helped to lure the lunchtime crowd of around 140 hungry guests to the smoking Killarney Meats Grand Opening event at 604 South Railway.

ON THE BBQ – Co-owner Ian Jensen said they only expected 90 people – and couldn’t keep up with the demand for their fresh barbequed hamburgers and gleaming smokies. Around $680 was raised at the event, and will be donated to the Killarney Food Bank. Killarney Meats opened last September, and it’s been a busy year for the three new co-owners of the abattoir and meat shop. See the full story from The Guide’s September 8 edition below.



New team takes on local abattoir and meat shop


With a meshing of top skills and backgrounds, a group of three local investors has taken on the town’s licensed abattoir and meat shop.

After months of planning, an engineer, a chef, and a restaurant service expert will now be running the show at the former DAL Meats on South Railway.

On August 31, keys and contracts were exchanged between the parties on what was a very emotional day for everyone.

“It’s very overwhelming, for all of us,” said Arvid Dalzell, amidst the aroma of powdered sage, garlic and pepper wafting from the inventory table.

Dalzell has run the business with his wife Allison since 2009, after taking over from previous owner Brian Bernard.

A total of seven staff and management work in the busy facility, which offers killing, butchering, cutting and wrapping services, plus they have homemade sausages, hams, bacon, and a wide range of meat cuts available for sale in their front entrance meat shop.

“I want to thank our customers for their patronage in our business,” he said. “It’s been an awesome eight years. The business has grown exponentially over those years, and the new owners have a great future ahead of them. I believe they will do a good job, and I think they will take the business to a higher level.”

New owners include two of Dalzell’s own butchers, Ian Jensen and Ronilo Sardal, and Jensen’s wife Brittney Ross-Jensen.

A Red Seal chef, Jensen intends to merge his new skills as a butcher with his finesse in the kitchen, to create a new line of ready-made meals for sale in the meat shop in the coming months.

Plus he wants to include some additional meat options, with a green twist.

“We will be adding on items like grass-finished beef, pastured pork and lamb, and free range chickens, as soon as possible,” he said.

Jensen says he has worked as a chef in locations that include the Fairmont Hotel in Jasper, Lady of the Lake in Brandon, and at the local Blarney Stone Restaurant.

He turned his hand to meat processing about two-and-a-half years ago, when he joined DAL Meats, to suit some lively new ties at home.

“I began butchering because I had a family, and I wanted better hours,” he said.

“We have a six-month-old, and one child aged three,” said his wife, Brittney. “So I will be doing a lot of the work from home. The next six months will be a learning experience for us all. I will be in charge of finances and accounting.”

Brittney herself is a two-time gold medallist in hospitality and tableside service.

She even went to Brazil recently, to compete in an impressive North and South American competition in the skills of customer service.

“That’s where I won the gold medal for Restaurant Service, out of both countries, in Sao Paulo,” she said. “It was pretty exciting. All three of us have skills, and that’s why we are teamed up. Ron will be the floor guy, Ian will be the gopher and manager, and I will be the front end person.”

Sardal gained his experience in the butcher trade in his home country of the Philippines, he said.

“I helped in my grandfather’s shop when I was younger, and that’s where I learned to be a butcher,” he said. “Then I went to university, and became an engineer, with a BSc in electronic communications. I worked in that field in the Philippines for six years, but I decided to try and come to Canada.”

Arvid Dalzell said that a few years ago he had advertised for butcher help overseas, and got 56 replies.

And something about Sardal’s application just appealed to him, he said.

“I decided to sponsor him, and he has been with us for three-and-a-half years,” said Dalzell. “I knew he was the right guy for the job, and that it meant a lot to him, and to me, when I told him he was hired.”

Sardal’s wife Norin, along with their two children, aged eight and nine, have since joined him in Killarney, Sardal said.

And while the new trio of owners settles into their busier life, at the newly renamed Killarney Meats, the Dalzells are making their own plans further afield.

“What’s in our future? We’re not sure yet,” said Arvid Dalzell. “But we are going south this winter, and doing a bit of travelling.”

Killarney Meats, on South Railway, will keep the same hours – 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (open through lunch). For information on products and service, call 204-523-4308.

NEW HANDS ON DECK AT ABATTOIR – A partnership of three talented owners has taken over the helm of DAL Meats. On August 31 the keys were exchanged and contracts completed, as (from left) Brittney Ross-Jensen, Ronilo Sardal, and Ian Jensen (far right) purchased the business from Arvid and Allison Dalzell (middle). The new name for the South Railway shop and butchering facility will be Killarney Meats.