Grocery Life October 13, 2015

Grocery Life October 13, 2015

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seared-tenderloin cropped pic

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market, located in the quiet little village of Rocky Hill. I hope everyone is having a good week. The ball team finally won a big game which is good. A win helps the economy a lot more than a loss or in more simple terms, we sell a lot more groceries. I would say most people who have a business in Knoxville would agree. Next up is Alabama… make sure you buy all your groceries before that game.

 

Now that the holiday season is upon us, I have a couple of dates you may want to mark on your calendars.


The first is Saturday, November 21st. This is when we are having our holiday open house event here at the store. This event gets larger and larger every year and hopefully this will be our most successful ever. We will be sampling holiday foods from main courses, to side items, and even desserts. Barbara Tenney will be here sharing some of her favorite recipes, and we will have several other local companies sampling their products as well. Everyone seems to really enjoy this event and best of all it is free to you. I hope you will set aside some time on that day to come by and see us. I will be giving you more details as the event gets closer.

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The second date I want you to mark on your calendar is December 5th. This is the date for the second annual Rocky Hill Christmas Parade. Last year was a huge success, and I bet this year will be even bigger. Everyone I have talked to that was at the parade last year had a great time so if you missed the last one make sure you don’t miss it again. The parade is put on by the Rocky Hill Business Association to show our appreciation for the support that you, the community, have given all of our businesses.

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rocky hill christmas tree 

I’m excited about these upcoming events and I hope you are too!


I am trying to get one more event planned before Christmas that I think you will be interested in. I do not have it nailed down yet so I will wait to give you the details on that one until I can confirm it.


The publisher for the Knoxville Mercury newspaper came by the store the other day. This paper used to be called Metropulse but now has a new name. Anyways, he came by to inform us that we placed second for “best local grocery store” in their upcoming reader’s poll edition. The winner was Three Rivers Market which is the food co-op on the corner of Central and Baxter avenues. They have a cool store and have played a big part in the revitalization of that part of town. The store actually sits right where a Cas Walkers grocery store used to sit many years ago. I have a lot of memories of that area because if you walked one block up Baxter Avenue from that store, you would be standing in front of the house my mother grew up in.

 

I don’t remember going to the Cas Walker’s when I stayed with my grandparents, but I can vividly remember holding my grandfathers hand and walking over to Sears which was on the other corner of Baxter and Central. As a little boy, I loved to go to stores, especially Sears, so I am sure my grandfather would walk me over there just to appease me, or maybe we were both just trying to escape the wrath of my grandmother. He was a kind, gentle person, my grandmother, not so much. He had learned to stay quiet and out of her way, and I was astute enough to follow his lead. My brother, who got the strong lawyer gene, was known to back talk her which would get him a good scolding and my mom probably got one too when she picked us up after our stay.


I guess I have mostly good memories of my visits over there. I do remember being made to sit at the table and eat what my grandmother fixed, even if I didn’t like it. I also remember suffering through the Lawrence Welk show on Saturday nights and if a Billy Graham crusade was on television, everyone had to stop what they were doing and watch. I didn’t like it then but ever since, if Billy Graham comes on, I stop and watch. It’s funny what sticks with you.


Well I got a little off topic but if you haven’t been over to “happy holler” in a while, I would take the time to go see all the changes that area has made. You should also stop in to Three Rivers Market and congratulate them for winning the award and supporting their community.


I am not sure how many local grocery stores are left in Knoxville so I don’t know if coming in second place is good or if we actually came in last out of two? It’s probably a win that both of our stores have stayed in business with so much competition.


I do want to get us off to a good start for the coming year’s competition so why don’t we have a beef tenderloin sale. Starting this Thursday, October the 15th, 2015 whole beef tenderloin will be $11.49 a pound. The sale will end on Sunday October the 18th, 2015. I would take advantage of this price because who knows what is going to happen to beef prices as the holidays get closer.

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cropped tenderloin pic
The quiet little village of Rocky Hill is getting ready to make some noise with the upcoming holiday events. Maybe a beef tenderloin sale will even make a little noise? I hope you will be able to join us for all of these events!


 And, as for Three Rivers Market, that object in your rear view mirror is a local grocery store in Rocky Hill coming for you.


Have a great weekend!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

Click here to view past blogs

 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life October 6, 2015

Grocery Life October 6, 2015

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group shot 1

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week! The weather has turned beautiful again after several rainy days which makes for happier customers and employees. Hopefully it will help sell groceries as well.

   

We had a great summer of selling groceries which, ironically, coincides with the fact that I did not write a blog all summer. One reason I write the blog is to help business but now I think my logic might be faulty?
   

I didn’t intend to take the summer off from writing, but I got involved in a couple of projects over the summer that kept me pretty drained mentally. I know you are thinking “how hard could it be to write a blog?” Well for me it’s hard when my mind is clear and apparently next to impossible when it is not. My mental capacity is not real large to begin with. Hopefully, I am back on track since my other projects are taking less energy now.
   

One of my projects has been at home. What started out as needing a new dishwasher and redoing a hallway got out of hand pretty quickly. I won’t go into all the details, but I now have what is probably the most expensive “dishwasher” in town. One thing always leads to another when you start working on a house. I would guess most of you have had a similar experience.
   

The other project I have been working on is helping my friend Joseph start his own business. We probably started talking about him doing this a year ago, and in the early spring he committed to it. So we have been pretty busy since April working on it. When I started at the grocery store it was already a going concern which in a lot of ways made it easier. This business is from the ground up so a lot more goes into the start up phase.  Regardless of how you start your own business, be it taking over a going concern or starting from the ground up, at the end of the day, it is just one big leap of faith.
   

Soon after we got into it, we asked another friend of ours, Steve, to join us. He had some expertise that neither of us had. I have always operated the store on “gut feeling” or put another way, “by the seat of my pants.” I have never really studied numbers and statistics, had a fancy business plan, or done any market surveys and analysis. I probably should be doing those things but that is not what I enjoy about business. I like the people side of it. Selling all the groceries in the world will never compare to the relationships I have with my fellow workers and customers, past and present.
   

Steve is really strong on planning and organization. He loves looking at spreadsheets, developing business plans, and operating agreements, as well as making sure certain benchmarks are met before moving forward. He wants to know what will happen before starting a business. I want to start a business and see what happens. Both ways have worked in the past, but his way is probably more prudent.
     

Joseph’s strength is he knows a little about cooking food and giving folks a great dining experience. I say that kiddingly. He actually knows a lot about those things and is the only chef from Tennessee to win the James Beard award for best chef in the southeast. He won this award in 2013 as the chef at Blackberry Farm which I understand is a pretty nice place. I have never stayed there, but I have accidentally fished their trout stream on purpose. If the rest of the place is as good as the trout stream, I might ought to take a look at going sometime.

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Anyway, as you have probably guessed or read about it by now, Joseph is getting ready to open his own restaurant. It is going to be located downtown on the corner of Walnut and Union. He is planning on being open in the first month or two of 2016. I don’t think the name of it has been announced yet so you can be looking for that in the coming weeks. I will tell you that the three of us and our wives went to Montana for a week in August under the guise of a business planning retreat. I bet we spent at least an hour that week working on the business plan as well as the name. It turns out, when you are out there, you have to fish during the daylight hours, then Joseph had to cook our meals at night, which we had to eat. So that didn’t leave a lot of time for business. I did come up with some great names for the restaurant while there, but the wives shot down every single one of them. I don’t think they appreciate my creativity?

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joseph with fish
     

We are all excited about Joseph’s “leap of faith” in starting his own business. I know all the “foodies” out there are excited about it. I hope you will join us in supporting another local guy trying to realize his dream.

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joseph and wife in restraunt
       

Joseph is one of many Butler & Bailey alumni who got their first job with us and then went on to do great things in their chosen profession. I am proud I got the chance to be a part of their lives while they worked here and even more proud to see what they have done since. I have also enjoyed watching kids that have grown up coming to the store with their parents do the same thing. That’s a lot more fulfilling to me than looking at spreadsheets and counting cans on a shelf and that’s why I love the grocery business!
   

Thanks for supporting my “leap of faith” so many years ago and thanks for letting us be a part of the community!

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

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 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life May 29, 2015

Grocery Life May 29, 2015

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tea tree 2

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week! We have had a good week at the store. Sales have been good and we are pretty much fully staffed.

We always lose a few employees when school lets out but we have filled their spots quickly for the summer. This year we have had more good applicants than we have space for which is a good problem to have. It always seems to be feast or famine with employees. When we need more people, we can’t find them. When we don’t need people, they are everywhere.

We are still trying to find out when or if Blue Bell ice cream will be available again. You may have heard that they have laid off a lot of their employees so I am guessing it will be a while before we will have their ice cream again.

We have brought in a lot of new products to fill in the space they had in our freezer. We have added Michael’s Best gourmet ice cream, Breyer’s and Turkey Hill Gelatos in several different flavors. We have also added more flavors of gallon pails as well as Morning Fresh Premium ice cream which is our private label. To be honest, I have not tried any of them, but they all seem to be selling well. I rarely eat ice cream or any kind of desserts for that matter so you will have to be the judge on these new items.

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I had a customer ask me last night about homegrown carrots. He said the ones we had last year were the best he ever had. Well, we called our farmer this morning and he is about six weeks out on his carrots and okra. He has been bringing us broccoli already and his beans and cucumbers should be coming in pretty soon also.

Eco-rich farms, out of Greenback, brought us another load of leafy greens this morning. Their produce has become so popular they are making extra deliveries now. They brought baby kale, butter lettuce, and mixed salad greens this morning. If you try their products, you will notice the difference.

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eco rich farm products

The meat department has been selling a lot of cowboy ribeye steaks this week. They are on sale and with the nice weather, everyone must be cooking out. The meat department also special ordered some tomahawk ribeyes for a customer. We do a have few left over if you really want to wow your friends this weekend.

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We did have a fellow in here Wednesday that decided to grab an arm load of steaks and run out the door. Our cashiers gave chase but he had another guy in a getaway car waiting outside so they got away.

If any of you happen to see two scumbags in a black, two door Honda Accord, tell them I hope they enjoyed the steaks and I hope they enjoy hell.

On a brighter note, my wife and daughter seem to be having a great time in England. Somehow the pictures they take show up on my phone and computer so I have been keeping up with them through pictures. They have taken pictures of the usual attractions but also of unusual things. One picture is of my daughter standing by a phone booth. That got me thinking, that may be the first phone booth she has ever seen. I’m not sure you could find one in the states now.

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Since they are staying with an English family, I think they have tea every afternoon, and it appears after the English have tea they go sit in the top of a tree. I didn’t know that was a tradition, but I have never been to England. I would have thought they were too proper to do that. Anyways, I am sure it has been a great experience for both of them so I am happy they got the chance to go but will be glad when they get home.

I hope everyone has a great weekend…except for the two scumbags in the black Honda Accord.

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

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Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life May 25, 2015

Grocery Life May 25, 2015

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vet cemetery 5

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. Today is Memorial Day which I guess is the official kick off to summer but more importantly, it is the day to honor all of those that have lost their lives in service to our country. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the sacrifices they made to give us the freedoms we enjoy.

Tyson rode with me to work this morning and quizzed me about what Memorial Day is and wanted to know if anyone in our family had died in the military. I didn’t know of anyone, but I don’t know much about our family history beyond my grandparents. He is spending the day with his grandmother so maybe she can give him a better history than I did.

As of Saturday, Tyson and I are bachelors. We put Erica and Lauren on a plane to England Saturday evening. They are going to stay with our friends in London and spend the next ten days seeing the sights.

It was decided that Tyson and I were not mature enough to take a trip like this so we stayed home. We were mature enough to lay out of church yesterday and go to the skateboard park. After that, we went boating with some friends and then went and played putt putt until dark.

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tyson hole in one

We are not eating the most well rounded meals, but we have managed to get a shower and brush our teeth everyday…so far. Tyson loves hanging out with his dad but that will probably change now that the work week has started.

This will be the longest any of us have been apart from each other so we will see how it goes. I imagine Tyson will have it the worst since he is stuck with me.

The store has been really busy this weekend. The most popular items seem to be our fried chicken, the smoked pulled pork, and our bacon wrapped fillet burgers. We have also sold a lot of watermelons and cantaloupes. We had a back room full of drinks at the start of the weekend and they are almost gone.

We have had three beautiful days of weather which always helps everyone’s holiday plans which translates into good business.

I don’t know if the British observe Memorial Day like we do in the states. I imagine they do something similar since they have had a military longer than we have. I am pretty sure they don’t celebrate the fourth of July over there and probably don’t like it when we do. I guess the girls picked the right holiday to visit England?

I hope everyone has a great holiday and thanks again for the business!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

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Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life May 14, 2015

Grocery Life May 14, 2015

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ben duncan 90th bday 1

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. These last two days of weather have been beautiful! It reminds me of Montana which makes me want to start planning a trip out there. Actually, regardless of the weather, I am always thinking about planning a trip out there.
     

I was by Duncan’s boat dock Tuesday to get some gas for the boat. I think Ben was still recovering from his 90th birthday celebration that was last Saturday. I am sure some of you attended it. We didn’t make it because we ended up with a house full of kids on Saturday. Ben told me it was a big time. He had finally gotten all of his birthday cards opened by Tuesday. He had over a hundred of them. He also told me people had put money in some of them. He said one fellow even put a fifty dollar bill in his card but that he owed more than that on his account at the dock so it really wasn’t a present. Even at ninety, I guess it is still exciting to get a card with money in it. Ben also told me he sold well over a thousand dollars worth of t-shirts that day. I guess his birthday turned out to be a profitable day at the dock so I guess he will have a few more Mason jars buried in his back yard.

 

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Business at the store has been good recently. It might have been a little better had Blue Bell ice cream not been recalled. We sell a lot of their ice cream so I hate that we don’t have it. Many of you have asked when it will be back on the market. Initially they thought three weeks but they keep pushing it further out. I think their problems are more widespread that they first thought and now the government is involved which will probably slow the process down even more. Hopefully they can get back up and running soon because this is definitely the ice cream season. I will let you know if I find out any new news.
     

I bet we will have Blue Bell back before KUB gets through with the utility work on Northshore Drive. Is it me or are they digging holes, covering them up only to re dig them about a week later? Every time I think they are through digging in front of the store, they come back and start digging again. It doesn’t seem very efficient but I guess when you have a monopoly, you don’t have to be efficient. And I guess they can always hike rates to cover it. I can’t wait to see how much better our toilets flush once they are done.
     

My wife is coming to cooking class tonight so I will be home with the kids. She will have a delicious gourmet meal, we will probably eat fried chicken from the store which is gourmet to me.
    

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fried chicken

Tonight’s class is full as are the rest of them in May. We should have June’s cooking class schedule out in the next week so be looking for that if you are interested in coming to a class. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

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 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life May 1, 2015

Grocery Life May 1, 2015

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TOM MUG SHOT 2

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. Things have been running pretty smooth here this week.
   

Well I finally settled my dispute with Getty Images this week. Last July, we inadvertently used a picture of a dog in the blog that Getty Images had copyrighted. About three months later I got a letter from their legal department demanding money for the use of their image. I probably would have paid them then, but they asked for an unreasonable amount for the picture and I would have preferred a real person from their company call me instead of just sending me demand letters from their legal department.
   

I did write them a letter of apology and they responded with yet another demand letter. They have continued to write me letters over the last few months adding new threats each time. I guess jail is next.  Each time I received a letter, I would call my lawyer brother, who serves as my legal department and ask his advice. He would say, “You can pay them, hope they forget about it, or get sued which would be expensive.” Not the decisive answer I was looking for.

 

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TOM MUG SHOT 1
   

Anyways, I got a letter from a collection agency last week that represents Getty Images. It was a much nicer letter and was written by a lady who gave her name and phone number. I thought, finally I can call and talk to a real person.
   

Wednesday I called her and told her why I had not paid Getty Images. I think she was surprised to hear from me. She asked if I was the Butler of Butler and Bailey Market. I guess she and Getty Images thought Butler and Bailey Market was some billion dollar company with a legal department, not a neighborhood grocery store with real people that have names.

 

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meat department
   

As the conversation went on, she asked if she could put me on hold and when she came back on the line she asked if I would settle for half the amount Getty wanted. The devil in me hated to give up the fight but after nine months of legal wrangling, I figured it was time to take my ball and go home, so I agreed to settle.
   

I think sometimes when companies grow as large as Getty Images, they forget about the value of the personal touch. Most all of us are real people with real names and expect to be treated accordingly. Hopefully, we have and will continue to give you the personal touch here at the store. I don’t think you would put up with us if we didn’t.

 

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stocker employee pic 2
   

Those of you that know me are probably surprised that I haven’t written a blog telling you how I really feel about Getty Images. Well I did. Before I sent it out, I thought I better have my legal department (brother) take a look at it. He told me it was probably my best blog but it might end up being the most expensive blog ever written if Getty Images reads it. Needless to say it never made it to press. Besides that, I feel like any billion dollar company that picks on widows, orphans, and small local grocery stores will eventually pay their own price.

 

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grainger tomatoes
   

Well, we are going to have to sell a few more groceries than normal so I can pay my bill to Getty. We did get our Grainger County tomatoes in so that should help. We also have Grainger County strawberries as of today. We will only get them for a few weeks so don’t miss out on them.

 

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grainger strawberries
     

With the warmer weather, we are smoking a lot more meats and frying more chicken. Those are great items to take for picnics or out on the lake. We have it packaged and ready to go or you can call ahead for special orders. 

     

I also want to remind you that the Farmers Market at Lakeshore Park has started back up again. It is every Friday afternoon for the rest of the growing season. I hope you will go and support all of the growers that participate in the market.
   

I am fishing in a bass tournament tomorrow to benefit the Boys and Girls club. One of our customers invited me to go with him. Based on my fishing ability we probably won’t do so well, but I will have us loaded up with good food so we will eat better that anybody else. That may be why he invited me?
     

Tim Irwin puts the tournament on. He was a professional football player and now he is a judge in town. I have decided that I should probably support anything the local judges do because it looks like I may end up in one of their courtrooms before my blogging career is over.

 

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TOM MUG SHOT 3
 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

Click here to view past blogs

 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

 

Grocery Life April 21, 2015

Grocery Life April 21, 2015

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Ben duncan

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week! It would be nice to dry out a little but I guess we will be glad for all this rain once summer rolls around.
     

I managed to stay wet most of the weekend. Friday, Tyson and I had a father son camp out with some other little boys from our church. It rained off and on all evening Friday and when we got up Saturday, there was such a dense fog, it might as well of been raining. The only good thing about it being so wet was the adults didn’t have to worry too much about the kids setting the forest on fire. We did have to worry about them setting each other on fire but we all made it through the trip unscathed. 

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tyson camping

Saturday afternoon the kids wanted to go out in the boat. I figured we might as well. We had not had the boat out since last year. I wanted to see if it would start plus it needed to be filled up with gas. Well it started right up so we headed over to Duncan’s boat dock to get some gas. It held exactly one hundred dollars worth. Of course when I went in to pay, the kids followed along to pick out a treat. I hated to spend a hundred dollars to fill up the boat but we did get to visit with Ben Duncan for a few minutes which is priceless. He is going to turn ninety this year and they are going to have a celebration for him in May. He gave me a flier about the celebration. It will be at Duncan’s Boat Dock on Saturday May 9, 2015 at noon. Please RSVP with Bill Ray: bray@farmerdreiser.com or Dianne Duncan: dianne.duncan@comcast.net. You should try to go if you can. He is a special person and we won’t have him forever.

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Ben Duncan 90th birthday flier
     

After we left the dock we rode up the river a little ways. It looked like it was going to start raining again soon so I didn’t want to go far. On our way up the river, we passed a little fishing boat. In the front of the boat a girl was paddling and in the back sat a guy. She sort of waved the paddle at us as we went by but the guy didn’t show any sign of desperation. As we passed, my daughter asked me why we weren’t stopping to help them and I told her they were too shallow to get close to them and I wasn’t sure they needed help anyways since they were not waving frantically. The reality of it was I figured someone else would help them if I didn’t. Well we rode on up the river a little ways and turned around to go back home because you could see the storm coming.
     

As we neared the little fishing boat again, the girl was still paddling and the guy was still sitting in the back. I was feeling a little guilty about passing them the first time so I decided to ease over near them to see if they needed any help. It turns out they did. I don’t think the guy wanted to admit it but the girl sure did. I get that. Guys never want to admit failure, much less ask for help, especially when it concerns their car or boat.
     

I asked them where they needed to go and it was a little boat ramp about mile up river. He threw me a line and we towed them to the ramp and their car. About the time we untied them at the boat ramp, here came the rain. The kids climbed in a little compartment to stay dry, Erica and I pretty much got soaked on the way home.
       

Sometimes I guess it takes the good heart of an eleven year old daughter to remind her dad that if people are in need we should stop and help them. It’s a good thing I have her as a daughter, she makes me a better parent…. and person.

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Tom and Lauren
       

This week started a new two week ad at the store. You can find it on our website by clicking here.
   

I can highly recommend the Kurobuta pork chops. They are great on the grill. I put Regas seasoning on them, seer them on a hot grill on both sides and then finish cooking them on low heat. I am using our locally produced lump charcoal in my grill now. We just received our first load of it. It is made in Jamestown and is great if you have a Big Green Egg grill. It lights easily and burns hot which is what I like.

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locall firwood 1
       

Another thing in our ad that I cook a lot is the Halibut fillets. I do these on the stove top and oven.
What I do is get a skillet that is oven proof, like a black iron skillet. Set the stove top on medium heat and put enough oil in the skillet to cover the bottom. Season the fillets to your liking. Once the skillet is hot put the fillets in, meat side down. All you are trying to do is brown them which usually takes three to five minutes. I then turn them over, putting the skin side down and put the skillet in a preheated 350 degree oven for around eight to ten minutes. That’s all there is to it and they turn out great. I will caution you that the skillet handle will stay hot for a long time after you pull it out of the oven!! I know this but I continue to burn myself most every time.

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Halibut and salad
     

Our May Barbara Tenney cooking class schedule is out now. As if this writing, we still have openings in every class except on May 14th. If you would like to see the schedule you can find it here. These classes fill up quickly so if you see one you are interested in call us to reserve a spot.
     

One more thing to put on your calendar would be Rocky Hill Hardware’s customer appreciation day which is this Saturday the 24th. I hope you will come out and support them. They will be giving out free food and will have a lot of great deals on plants as well as many other items. Ernie and Suzanne have passed down the business to Patrick, one of their long time employees so I hope you will throw your support behind him as he gets started in his own small, local business. I have certainly been in his shoes before and know how much it means to have the support of the community, especially when you are just starting out.
     

Thanks again for your business and have a great week!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

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 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

 

Grocery Life April 16, 2015

Grocery Life April 16, 2015

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Seafood Department Butler and Bailey Market

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. It has kind of been a washout so far this week but maybe that cleans up some of the pollen in the air.

I got my tax return finished Tuesday. That always leaves me with an empty feeling. I guess I have learned that since the IRS gets to make the rules, they always win. They are kind of like the Harlem Globetrotters without the entertainment value.

Business has been good the last couple of weeks. I would like to think I had something to do with that, but the truth is, I have hardly worked the last couple of weeks. I woke up on April Fool’s day with the flu, and I am just now getting back to my normal schedule. Erica and Lauren also had it. Lauren recovered in about thirty minutes; Erica and I were down about ten days. Tami flu apparently works better on kids than adults. For what it cost, I was expecting better results. Oh well, just glad we are all over it!

We had some great swordfish steaks for supper Tuesday night. I rubbed grape seed oil on them, seasoned them with salt and pepper and put them on the grill. I probably cooked them four or five minutes on each side and they turned out perfect. I would typically use olive oil but we are trying different oils due to allergies. That’s another story for another time.

We are trying to improve our seafood selection here at the store and more specifically our fish variety. That’s easier said than done. Fish is a very seasonal product so between that and the price fluctuations caused by that, it can be a little tricky. Farm raised fish like tilapia and salmon are pretty consistent year round, wild caught fish is a different story. We will not have the same variety of fish every week, but we hope to give you a larger variety of what is available. I can only eat so much salmon and tilapia so I am excited about our new options. My favorites so far have been the swordfish, halibut and grouper.

We talked to our Grainger County tomato man last week. He said we should start getting tomatoes in the next couple of weeks. These will be hot house tomatoes but will be far superior to what we are getting now. He also grows strawberries for us and they should start coming in soon as well. The harsh winter has put the local growers a little behind, but they should catch up quickly now.

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grainger tomatoes

Speaking of local growers, I went by the new Whole Foods after work last night. That was my first time in a Whole Foods. This one has about four entrances, and I think I chose the wrong one because I went through the whole store backwards. I am easily disoriented in new places, but I was really disoriented there. I think I will choose a different entrance next time and see how it goes.

While I was in there, I noticed that they put up pictures and have a little biography of all of the local people in the food business. I saw pictures of Mahasti, owner of Tomato Head, Coleen, with Cruze Farms Dairy, and several others. I figured since they had their pictures and stories, my picture must be up somewhere and I wanted to see what they had written about me. After all, I have been local for forty-eight years and have been in the food business for over half of those. I searched and searched but never found anything about me, which was a little disappointing. Another blow to my ego. Maybe I was up in one of the entrances I didn’t go in?

Anyways, even though I was confused and they are the competition, I was glad to see that they are selling the products of some of my good friends. It will help them in their businesses. I will probably never shop their but it is a nice store and the company has a good reputation for treating their people well, which I admire.

Now that I have told you about it, I have saved you having to fight the traffic on Papermill to check it out for yourself. But, if you do happen by there, let me know if they have my picture up yet.

Lastly, I have written in the past about my little friends Hugo Canada and Garret Jablonski. They are two little boys that have been fighting diseases, Hugo with cancer and Garrett with Sanphilippo syndrome. If you haven’t heard, after nine months of intense treatment, Hugo is cancer free! Based on his initial prognosis, I think I would have to call that a miracle.

Garrett and his family were by the house a couple of weeks ago and while there is no treatment for his disease, he continues to be a happy, fun loving little boy.

I hope you will continue to keep these little boys and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I know it means a lot to them.

You can read about their stories here.

Guardians for Garrett Facebook page

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Garrett joblanski and sister

Hugo Canada Cancer free story

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hugo canada

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

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Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life March 28, 2015

Grocery Life March 28, 2015

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Erica Lauren Tyson Beach 2015

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. Based on business last week, I think a lot of you were out of town on spring break. I was gone myself. Our family went to Apalachicola, Florida which is where we go about every spring break.
 

I have been fishing down there for about thirty-five years and since I have gotten married and had kids, I have combined my fishing trip with a family vacation. When the family goes, we stay on St. George Island which is just across the bridge from Apalachicola. When I go without them, I stay at Bay City Lodge which is right on the Apalachicola River. If you have never visited Apalachicola, you may want to put it on your “bucket list”. It is a small picturesque coastal town where a river meets an ocean. It is most famous for its oysters but that is just the beginning of what it has to offer.

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tom with fish appalachacola
   

I like the local people there. Some are nice, some are not so nice. They don’t seem to mind you visiting their town, but they are not going to put a lei around your neck when you arrive.
       

Most all of them depend upon the bay and ocean for their livelihood which appears to be a pretty hard scrabble life. You can see it in their leathery faces, broad shoulders and thick, powerful arms and hands. I have figured out that as long as you don’t get in the way or try to change their way of life they are glad to have you in town.
   

Out-of-towners have tried to come in and change the town to promote tourism without much success, probably because the locals aren’t interested. They even shot part of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in Apalachicola a couple of years ago, and I bet the locals got up, went to work on the boats and didn’t even notice.

 

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appalachacola boats 2
   

I hope the town and the people never change. It is a special place with truly authentic people which is hard to find these days. I have benefited greatly from all my time spent there and I hope my children will come to appreciate it as well. I know they have started to because this trip they both fell in love with eating raw oysters.

 

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tyson eating oysters 2
     

Next Sunday is Easter and just as a reminder, we will be closed on Easter Sunday. It is one of the three days we close every year. The other two are Christmas and Thanksgiving.
     

We have several varieties of lamb and ham for your Easter meals. You can call ahead and order your meats or just come on down and we can help you pick out what you need. We will also have several things in our deli/bakery prepared to go along with your main course. Our top seller will probably be our coconut cake and it just happens to be on sale. If you want to make your own cake, our Betty Crocker cake mix is on sale also. We have a lot of other holiday items on sale that you can find in our ad by clicking here.

 

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easter coconut cake
     

Now that the weather is warming up a lot of our local producers’ supplies are improving. I talked to both Cruze Dairy and Tickiwoo Farm eggs today and they both told me we should have good supplies the rest of the warm season. Brent, our produce manager, has already talked to some of our local growers about fruits and vegetables and said they are already gearing up for the season.
     

We love doing business during the warm months because we have so many more local folks we can buy from. I love getting to know them as well as supporting their products.
   

When I was in Apalachicola I bought a tee shirt from a local business I like down there and on the back it says “buy local”. Maybe I should have some of those printed up for our store?
   

Have a great weekend!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

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 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881

Grocery Life March 10, 2015

Grocery Life March 10, 2015

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ribeye

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone had a good weekend. We finally had two warm and beautiful days. Now it’s back to rain but at least it’s a warm rain.
 

All the ice and snow that has been in our yard for the last three or four weeks has now been replaced by weeds. Apparently they like cold snowy weather. We will see if they like the round-up I sprayed on them this weekend. It will take me a week or two to get my yard all shaped up for the spring but I got a good start on it this weekend. This may be the year that I start hiring out some of my yard work but I say that every year and never do it. I have trouble paying for something I can do myself but as tired and sore as I am after a few hours of yard work, this weekend maybe I will change my mind.
 

The store business is finally back to normal. The last few weeks have either been feast or famine. We would much rather have consistent, predictable business.
 

We have a new two week ad that started Sunday. You can find that on our website if you do not already get a copy in your News Sentinel. We have corned beef and cabbage on sale in this ad for Saint Patrick’s Day, which is next Tuesday. I don’t care much for either one of those so I can’t offer you much advice on preparing them. Google can probably help.

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corned beef

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cabbage 2
   

 One of my favorite things in this ad would be the Ribeye steaks. They are $8.99 a pound this week. When we started here twenty- five years ago we would put Ribeye on sale for $3.99 a pound. Some of you still remind me of this. I am going to go out on a limb and say they probably won’t be that cheap again unless you buy them out of the back of a truck.

 

Those trucks come through our neighborhood every now and then trying to sell steaks door to door. I think the last sign I saw on the truck said “25 Ribeyes for $25 dollars.” I have spoken to them when they have come to our door and I have to say, they are a lot better salesmen than I am. If our store depended on my salesmanship, we would be in trouble. I have never bought anything from them, but I will give them an A for effort. Maybe I should give them a try; they may be the best steaks ever?
 

I guess we could prepare you 25 steaks for $25 dollars. They would be pretty thin. So thin you could probably read the newspaper through them. You could use them for beef jerky or they might make a good book mark, I just wouldn’t plan a cookout around them.
 

I admire anyone that tries to sell door to door. That has to be a tough way to make a living. I would have starved to death long ago if I had to do that. I do have a good friend that has spent most of his career selling door to door. He started out selling books and then he figured out that if he could sell books door to door he could probably sell insurance policies the same way so he started an insurance company. He specialized in cancer policies and the best I can tell, he became quite wealthy doing this since he retired at about my age. He has since started a consulting company and travels the world working with large corporations training their sales forces. He also donates a lot of his time consulting with non-profit organizations in third world countries. The last time we communicated he was in Tanzania. He told Erica and I that we would love it there. He’s a good salesman, but not good enough to get me to Tanzania, wherever that is.
   

I guess all of us have been given different gifts. I think the hard part for most of us is figuring out what our gifts are and how to apply them to our lives and careers. I am still not sure if I have figured out what my gifts are. I think I have done a better job of figuring out what I am not gifted at. I guess through process of elimination I will get it figured out. I have determined that regardless of what my gifts are, the best place for me to realize  them are at a grocery store in Rocky Hill alongside all the other gifted people that work and shop here.
 

Thanks again for your business and have a great week!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to:tom.butler44@gmail.com

Click here to view past blogs

 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881