Third-generation owner and operator of the Fernie Meat Market, Mark Brown, will be retiring at the end of 2021, after the sale of The Fernie Meat Market’s location on 5th Street in Fernie. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press

Third-generation owner and operator of the Fernie Meat Market, Mark Brown, will be retiring at the end of 2021, after the sale of The Fernie Meat Market’s location on 5th Street in Fernie. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press

Fernie Meat Market sells, third-generation owner to retire

Mark Brown has worked at the meat market since 1986

The Fernie Meat Market has been sold, with long-time owner and operator Mark Brown set to put down his knife for the last time on Dec. 31 2021.

Mark is the third-generation of the Brown family to own and operate the Fernie Meat Market, which has become a fixture in Fernie over 95 years it has been operating at its location on 5th Street.

These days, it’s famous for jerky and sausage, all made in-house.

Mark has been working at the market since 1986, so he has gotten to know regulars from near and far over the years that have frequented his business for much of his life, making the end of this chapter a bittersweet one.

“I’m pretty upset, I have mixed emotions about it,” he said, adding that he’ll miss the people the most.

The business itself has a question mark over it – Mark doesn’t have a younger generation to pass his knowledge and experience on to, and he had originally hoped whoever bought it would continue on, but that was another question for another day.

For now, the whole building on 5th Street has been sold to new owners, and Mark is retiring. The building (which Mark owns) went on the market at the end of March in 2021, when Mark said he was looking forward to taking a break after so long at work.

An award-winning butcher at an award-winning business, Mark’s expertise comes from generations of knowledge.

His experience at the market goes back to well before he ever picked up his first knife.

“I was a little baby in the back, watching my dad and my uncle work from a stroller,” he said.

His decision to follow in his father’s footsteps came in the 1980s and began with a conversation about his future.

“(I said) ‘maybe I’ll learn the trade from you’ – and here I am,” he said, 35 years later.

Here he’ll stay, too, even if he’s retiring from work. Mark might be putting down his knife and hanging up his apron, but he’s not done with Fernie.

“You’ll see me around.”

READ MORE: Fernie Meat Market up for sale



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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