With unseasonably warm temperatures, itís not far fetched to believe that barbecue season isnít a long way off.
The timing couldnít work out much better for barbecue enthusiasts and carnivores alike, with the arrival of Cantorís Quality Meats delivery service to Thompson.
The 68-year-old business started by Ed Cantor Sr. in 1944 has been operating in Winnipeg since the 1940s as a family run business, supplying quality meats and groceries to the community.
Cantorís meat manager Gilbert Kohlman had a big part in the addition of regular deliveries to Thompson.
Kohlman used to operate the Oakridge Meats store in Thompson and has a customer base that he had built while in town.
ďI had a lot of customers coming down to Winnipeg that I used to have while I was at Oakridge,Ē said Kohlman, ďso I did a deal with Gardewine where I can deliver it up to Thompson and surrounding communities for cheaper that it is to fly it up there.Ē
The Juniper Centre will act as the distribution centre for any purchases made from Cantorís whether via online order or over the telephone.
ďCantorís purchased a deep freezer and we put it right in the Juniper Centre,Ē said Kohlman, ďso what happens is Gardewine picks up the orders Monday afternoons, they drive over night and then itís at the Juniper Centre to be picked up on Tuesday morning.Ē
Cantorís operates as a bulk dealer of meat, selling in quantities of 10 pounds for beef and pork products, and four kilograms for most chicken products. They also offer meat packages with a variety of different cuts and meats where upwards of 40 pounds of meat can be purchased for around $120.
Kohlman had received numerous calls from former customers that meat prices in Thompson were outrageously high and that they were looking for alternatives.
ďI was up in Thompson around Christmas time and I was in Safeway,Ē said Kohlman, and I saw that they had T-bone steaks for $12 per pound, Iím bringing it in to Thompson at no extra charge for $6.59 per pound.Ē
While a delivery service may not have the same warmth and community feel as an in town butcher shop, Kohlman explained that itís much more feasible to operate this way.
ďItís expensive to run a store, so moving to Cantorís and setting up this delivery service is a lot more feasible and makes more sense.Ē
Deliveries will arrive in Thompson once weekly, and anyone who has placed an order can expect their meat to arrive Tuesday morning for pick up.
Kohlman says that Cantorís may look in to supplying a full line of groceries for delivery in the future, depending on what the response is from the meat delivery service.
ďWe have a 13,000-square-foot store here in Winnipeg with a full complement of products,Ē said Kohlman, ďso since we have the refrigerator trucks, maybe one day down the road people can order their produce from us as well.Ē
Cantorís Meats will be participating in a trade show in Thompson in the beginning of May and Kohlman will be in town, displaying some of the products that the company offers.