Mark Brown cuts up a fresh piece of meat in the kitchen in the back of his store.

Third generation butcher a master of his craft

Mark Brown, owner/operator of Fernie Meat Market, is the third generation in his family to run the successful downtown meat shop.

For three generations, the Fernie Meat Market has been serving satisfied customers around the area and beyond.

The business’ current owner, Mark Brown, is also the store’s primary butcher.

His grandfather started the business, which has been in the same building since 1926, and was later taken over by his father and uncle before being passed down to him.

Brown said he’s seen businesses around his Fifth Street establishment come and go over the years. So what’s his secret to the success and longevity of the meat market?

“Customer service goes a long way,” he said modestly, adding he gets a lot of people that come in from out of town.

Customers hear about the products Brown carries, and through word-of-mouth, they find their way to the location. This, he said, can sometimes be a challenge, since a lot of people casually refer to his store as “Brown’s”.

“If you Google it, it doesn’t come up as Brown’s, it comes up as Fernie Meat Market,” he said. “When customers come in, I say ‘hello’ and greet them with a smile.”

Brown said he gets to know all of his customers in time. Since he grew up in the shop, he’s gotten to know a lot of people over the years and is now seeing the third generations of those customers coming through the door.

The butcher said he can remember sitting as a young boy in milk crates in the back of the shop, watching his father work. After years of studying the business, Brown is an expert in his field and takes great pride in his products.

The most popular product his has is smoked jerkey.

“Try this,” he said as he handed over a fresh piece smoked jerky. “This is the cracked pepper”.

While a lot of his customers come from Fenie and Calgary, he ships across the country and the world.

“We even ship to Japan.”

At lunch, Brown offers delicious sandwiches made on the spot with fresh meats and cheese for a reasonable price.

Brown said he has no plans on changing jobs or retiring anytime soon. He’s dedicated to his craft and works six days a week.

“I love what I do.”