Grocery Life December 1, 2015

Grocery Life December 1, 2015

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2015 open house

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market. I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone I have talked to has told me how well their turkey turned out this year. I always ask how they prepared it and I hear everything from “I just stuck it in the oven” to extravagant recipes that start two to three days before actually cooking it. Some people say you can’t beat a good ole frozen turkey and others say you have to have a fresh, free-range turkey for the best results. I have tried them all and they all turn out about the same to me. I guess my palette isn’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference and secondly, I usually think while I am eating turkey, how I wish it was a beef tenderloin or prime rib. I am not a big fan of turkey.
   

We apparently have a new tradition in the family for holidays. When we close the store for holidays I usually come by the store to check on things so we don’t have any big surprises when we open up the following day. Last year on Christmas, I brought the kids with me to do this. While I checked things out the kids rode their bikes and skateboards around the store. You would’ve thought I took them to Disney World. They thought that was the greatest thing to ride around the store while it was closed. So this Thanksgiving we were at the store checking on things and riding skateboards again, and I am sure we will do the same thing at Christmas. I guess you build traditions and memories in a lot of different ways.

 


     

We have had two events at the store plus Thanksgiving in the last three weeks which has kept us pretty busy. They were all very successful thanks to our staff here and all of you supporting them. Our biggest event was our Holiday Open House last Saturday. We had a lot of great food and a really big crowd for that event. I really enjoyed it because I got to meet a lot of you that don’t live close to the store but follow us by reading this blog. I met folks from Powell, Maryville, Norris, and Sweetwater just to mention a few. Another treat for me was that my family came for the whole event. I write about them all the time so I was glad they finally got to meet some of you.
   

My daughter actually worked the whole time she was at the store. She helped the Cruze Farm girls hand out ice cream for three hours. Now she has decided that she wants to be a Cruze Farm girl when she grows up. That’s not really what we had in mind for her career but we’re ok with it. I like the Cruze Farm folks! Her brother, Tyson, wants to do whatever he wants to do and live with us forever so Lauren’s idea is sounding pretty good to us.

 

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Lauren with cruze farm
     

It is now time to move on to the next great event in Rocky Hill. This Saturday is the Rocky Hill Christmas Parade!!! I hope all of you are planning on being here for this. Last year was the first year of the parade and it was a huge success! I bet this year will be even better. A lot of people and businesses from our community volunteer their time and money to make this parade happen so we all need to show our appreciation by being there Saturday night. Come early and tailgate or better yet, come early and buy groceries but make sure you are here at six to watch the parade.

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rocky hill christmas parade poster
     

Life is good in Rocky Hill and life is busy in Rocky Hill and I guess the folks in this community will just keep on trying to make it better and better until Jesus blows the whistle and makes us get out of the pool.
     

Have a great week and I will see you at the parade!!!

 

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 November 18, 2015

Grocery Life November 18, 2015

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open house 5

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. It looks like we are going to have to get out rain coats this afternoon and then we are going have to dig out our winter coats once the rain moves through.
   

We had a great event with Allan Benton and Joseph Lenn this past Saturday. I appreciate all of you that came by to meet them and am sure they do too. They cooked up some great food and told some great stories along the way. Joseph and I have gotten to spend a lot of time together over the last two years, but I rarely get to visit with Allan, so that was a real treat for me.

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We are now doing a quick turnaround because we are having an even bigger event this Saturday. It is our annual Holiday Open House. I think of it more as a Customer Appreciation Day. We only advertise this event inside the store and on this blog because first and foremost, it is designed for all of you that support us throughout the year. Everyone one is welcome of course and we will see a lot of new faces which is great but my main goal is to show my thanks to the ones that “brought us to the dance”.
   

Here is a quick rundown of what we will be sampling, but I am sure it will continue to change right up to Saturday morning so forgive me if I miss a few.
   

Vienna Coffee from Maryville will be sampling their coffee. The Cruze Farm girls will be sampling their ice cream and probably some of their milk products.

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open house 6

Doug Carnathan will be here with his local honey. The ladies that make Better in Blue blue cheese dressing (Jan and Lea) will be here giving you a taste of their gourmet blue cheese dressing. Mayfield Dairy will be here sampling their holiday products. Barbara Tenney, our cooking class instructor, will be here sharing a couple of her creations with you as well as giving you ideas about other holiday dishes.

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Southern Natural Foods will be here sampling some of their beef and pork products. These are all local products produced by local folks, and we love showing off local products!

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open house jim simpson
   

We will also be preparing, in the store, beef tenderloin, standing rib roast, pork tenderloin, Mamie’s cheese wafers, two types of cornbread dressing as well as  multiple other side dishes, pumpkin and pecan pie and all the things I have forgotten plus whatever else we come up with between now and Saturday.
   

This event has become a holiday tradition for my family and I hope, if it hasn’t already, it will become one for your family as well.
The event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. so I will see you then.
   

I am trying to get this written early today because I have a meeting at one with Tyson’s school principal due to a little discipline problem he had last week at school. I figured if I wrote this after my meeting and the meeting didn’t go well I might express that in the blog, jeopardizing Tyson’s school career or my marriage or both. I’m bad about saying what is on my mind.
   

I think Tyson must have spent one week too long letting his broken arm heal up. No doubt he has had a lot of pent up energy plus a little frustration having to be idle for a few weeks, and I guess he took it out on one of his schoolmates. From what I understand this has been building all year between him and the other student. All that really happened was they got in an argument which really upset Tyson. After their argument, he went and told one of his friends how he really felt about the other student. He would have been fine doing that had he not used one “choice” word in his description of the other student, mistake number one. He actually didn’t even say the word but used the first letter of the word making it pretty clear what he meant even though he doesn’t even know what the word means.
   

He probably still would have skirted trouble had he not been crying because not long after, the teacher saw him crying and came over and asked him what was wrong. Here is where he made his second mistake. He told the truth, the whole truth, including the part about telling his friend that the other student was being the first letter of a “choice” word. Well that got him taken to his primary teacher where Tyson told her the truth, the whole truth, including the part about telling his friend that the other student was being the first letter of a “choice” word. Well this got him sent to the principal’s office where once again he didn’t change his story. He told the truth, the whole truth including the part about using the first letter of a “choice” word in describing the other student. The principal, just wanting to confirm what the whole word was, had he actually said it, asked him to write it down for her. He did, spelling it perfectly. So now, not only did he tell the truth, he wrote down the word, perfectly spelled, further incriminating himself. Being honest and a good speller was just not paying off for him this day.
     

The principal then wanted to know how he knew that word and where he had heard it. This is when he made his last and biggest mistake. He told the principal he wasn’t sure but probably from his mom. If he learns nothing else from this incident, he needs to know you should never throw your mother under the bus when you are sitting in a principal’s office awaiting discipline. Personally, I thought it was funny and thought it was much better for him to blame her instead of me.
       

I am not proud of the fact that Tyson called that little girl the first letter of a bad word so we are working on how to handle situations like that a little more appropriately. I may be the blame for that. I tend to call things like I see them even when I shouldn’t. I am proud of the fact that he told the truth. He is a “literal” kid and probably because of that and of course good parenting, he has always told the truth and most of the time it is on himself. I guess at some point he will figure out that the world is full of people that don’t tell the truth. I guess he will also learn that society doesn’t like literal truth, they like “politically correct” truth.
   

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all go back to being eight year olds or at least act like eight year olds. Then we would always tell the truth and we would also believe what everyone else was telling us and we could settle all of our disputes on the school playground.
     

I imagine Tyson will always be a literal thinking person, calling them like he sees them and I hope he always tells the truth. My advice to him would be make sure he is nice to his uncle John because he will probably need a lawyer in the future and if the school principal ask you to write down the “B word” write down Butler & Bailey Market and tell her it is a great place to shop.

Have a great week and I will see you Saturday!

 

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

Benton’s Bacon Cooking Demo 11/14/15 10 a.m.-12 noon

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey  Market. I just wanted to send out a reminder about tomorrow. Allen Benton

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joseph Lenn and allen bentonand Joseph Lenn will be here in the morning from 10 a.m. to 12 noon cooking up some Benton’s country ham and bacon and giving you ideas about how you can use Benton’s products in other dishes as well.
They are both very talented and entertaining people so I hope you will be able to drop by for a few minutes in the morning to chat with them and enjoy their creations.
See you tomorrow and have a great weekend!

Grocery Life November 9, 2015

Grocery Life November 9, 2015

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joseph Lenn and allen benton

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market. I hope everyone had a good weekend. We have been busy here at the store gearing up for the holidays plus all the special events leading up to the holidays. Our holiday open house is going to be on Saturday, November 21st from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That next Thursday, the 26th is Thanksgiving Day, and then on December 5th at 6 p.m., the second annual Rocky Hill Christmas parade will be rolling down Northshore Drive. I hope you already have all of these events marked on your calendar.
 

I have been working on one other event which I am very excited to tell you about. This Saturday, November 14th from 10 a.m. until noon, Allen Benton, the owner of world famous Benton’s Country Ham And Bacon and Chef Joseph Lenn, former chef of Blackberry Farm, will be here doing a cooking demonstration although it will probably be more story telling while they cook a little.
 

I am sure all of you “foodies” out there are already very familiar with these two guys and know how significant their contributions have been to the culinary world. For those of you that are not familiar with them, both of these guys have won the James Beard award for culinary excellence which is probably the most distinguished award you can receive in their profession. Both of these guys are also in high demand all over the country.
     

Joseph travels extensively doing cooking demonstrations at the finest restaurants and food festivals in the country. Allen’s products have become a staple on the menus of many of those same places. They both have been and continue to be written up in many of the national food magazines, (including this blog). I could go on and on about their accomplishments but I would rather you hear them first hand when they are here at the store this Saturday.

 

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In my mind, I think their greatest accomplishment is the fact that even though they both have the opportunity to capitalize on their fame and reputation on the national scene, they have both decided there is more value in being a part of the communities where they got their start. Allen continues to operate out of his old smokehouse in Greenback and Joseph, with his upcoming restaurant in downtown Knoxville.

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joseph and wife in restraunt
       

It will be well worth your time to come by and visit with them Saturday. I imagine Allen will be cooking his country ham with red-eye gravy and telling stories about how he got started in his business. Joseph will be preparing some dishes using Benton’s products
and providing the recipes so you can make them at home. He will also be glad to tell you about his upcoming restaurant.
   

So come by Saturday and try out some great food, hear some great stories, and enjoy the fact that two more people from our community have achieved national fame in their fields but would rather share their talents with you and me.
   

Have a great week and see you Saturday!

 

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 30, 2015

Grocery Life October 30, 2015

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ut pumpkin pic

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market. I hope you are having a good week. The weather has been a little dreary this week until today, but I guess we were due after so many beautiful, sunny days.
   

It has been somewhat uneventful around my house this week. No broken bones to report on. Tyson did get his cast off on Monday. I’m not sure that was a good idea because the doctor said he needed to be inactive for another two weeks. That’s a tall order for an eight year old. We will see how it goes. I guess it does mean we won’t do stupid things with our bodies for another two weeks.

 

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tyson cast removal
 

Lauren and I made a cake on Sunday. I think that was a first for both of us. Her mother was conveniently gone when Lauren came up with this idea so I became her helper for this project.

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lauren cake 2

 

We did leave Erica the dirty dishes so she wouldn’t feel left out. I should probably just bring Lauren to the store and let her make cakes with Nancy for a day. She is the master cake maker.

 

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Nancy and Mark 1
   

Here at the store, we are starting to gear up for the holidays. We are stockpiling the most important items. One reason for doing this is because the closer the holidays get, the shorter the supplies get on a lot of things. The second reason we do this is to take advantage of better pricing on those items. Manufacturers con us into buying early by offering better pricing. Retailers try to do the same thing with holiday sales starting earlier and earlier every year. I have never really understood why we all have more and more sales earlier and earlier every year but after reading an article last week, I have finally figured it out.
   

It’s a Government Conspiracy and it’s against retired people.
 

The article I read was about social security payments not increasing because prices have not risen enough (inflation) to justify them. As I read that article, I thought, isn’t that funny. You work all your lives and the government takes what is now 6.2 percent of your money out of every pay check you received. On top of that your employer has to match that amount for you. If you are self-employed, you have to pay in the whole amount. They then “hold” your money in “safe keeping” until they decide you are old enough to retire. They have been saving mine, for me, since I started working thirty-four years ago.
 

Once you get to their retirement age, they decide how much of your money they are going to give you back based on some screwy formula, that I bet no one understands, and I guess it doesn’t work because the thing is going bankrupt by all estimations.  If the thing is going bankrupt, what did they do with my money that they were saving for me? Did they lose it? Did they give it to someone else? What if I don’t like the person they gave it to? Surely they didn’t spend it on something else without asking me first.
     

Anyways, after they decide how much of your money they are going to give you back, they then decide how much you need to live on from year to year based on some price index that is skewed towards the spending habits of younger people.
   

That is why they love for us to have more and more sales earlier and earlier every year. It’s so prices stay down and they don’t have to give you as much of your money back.
     

The weird thing is, when they talk out of the other side of their mouth, they have decided that wages for working Americans need to go up because they are not keeping up with the rising cost of living. Is this the same cost of living that is not going up for retired people?
 

The catalyst for getting wages higher is raising the minimum wage. They say that if you raise the lowest wage, all wages will rise along with it. I think in the long term that is true. In the short term it is not. Companies don’t all of a sudden have more money when the government decides to raise the minimum wage. They have to cut cost somewhere else to pay for it. Over time prices go up to compensate for wage increases then companies have more money to pay higher wages to everyone.  I think the government likes this idea because they get the credit for paying people more money, but it doesn’t cost them anything. The employer pays for it. Plus, they get more of your money to “save” for you because the more you make, the more you and your employer pay in to social security. The employers get to pay for it up front, but ultimately you pay for it through higher prices on the things you buy.
 

So for all of you retired people, it looks like the minimum wage will be going up soon. Which means all wages will be going up soon. Which means prices will be going up soon. Which means you will be getting a raise soon (yea!). Which means the government will be more broke soon. Which means they will have to borrow more money soon. Which means they will drive us further in debt soon…which for some reason they don’t seem to care about?
 

I guess when we were born we must have signed something on our birth certificates that says the government can borrow all the money they want, anytime they want, on our behalf. It must happen right after they hold you upside down and smack you on the butt. I do remember being disoriented for a few minutes after that.

 

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tom bc
   

Over time, regardless of the wages we make or the retirement we receive, everything seems to even out. We all just adjust our business plans and lifestyles accordingly.
   

And before you think I am mad at the government, I’m really not. AT&T, Comcast, and Getty Images have made me a lot more angry than the government ever has. I may point out my disagreements with them but I am pretty much living the “American Dream” so what do I have to complain about? If they can help more people realize the “Dream” that’s great. I am glad to give them credit, but I would give more credit to my family, my faith, and my community in achieving my “dream” and that is how it should work.
   

So for all you retired people and those of you still working, I guess we will keep on having more and more sales earlier and earlier in the year until the government tells us differently…. and let’s just hope their printing press never runs out of ink.

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printing press
   

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 22, 2015

Grocery Life October 22, 2015

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tom and tyson skateboarding

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market. We continue to have beautiful fall weather and it looks like it is going to stay with us for the foreseeable future.

Business has been good over the last few days. Probably the biggest reason is the beef tenderloin sale we had at the end of last week. It was only for four days but we ended up selling around one thousand two hundred pounds of it. This was a good warm-up for our folks in the meat department to prepare for Christmas business. If that business is similar to last year, we will sell around twelve thousand pounds of tenderloin over a two week period.
It is always a little scary to place that order because once we buy it, we own it. Right now it is costing about twelve dollars a pound so that’s about a one hundred and forty-five thousand dollar “roll of the dice”. Thankfully you all have always come and bought them!!

It has now been a year since I broke my arm doing cool tricks on my skateboard. My son apparently decided he needed to commemorate my one year anniversary by going off the back of his skateboard ramp and breaking his arm.

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skateboard ramp

His mom was out of town when this happened so instead of going to the ER, I took him down to see my neighbor, who is a doctor. That was a lot more convenient for me and besides, it didn’t look too broken and he wasn’t even crying. Our neighbor decided that if it was broken, it wasn’t a bad break and if nothing changed with it, we could watch it over the weekend and have it X-rayed the first of the week if it was still bothering him. In my mind, that meant it was probably okay and not to worry about it. Well when my wife came home from out of town that night, she decided I was taking him to get X-rays the next morning. So I did. For some reason I hear her more clearly than I do doctors.
On the way to get X-rays the next morning, Tyson and I were already scheming on how we were going to the skateboard park that afternoon if it quit raining. We just knew he was okay. Well after getting a few X-rays, the doctor came in, dictated a few notes and then to my surprise, asked Tyson what color cast he wanted. Turns out he has a buckle fracture, whatever that is, so he has to wear a cast for three weeks. Instead of going skateboarding that afternoon, we went to the craft store and bought some fancy pens for people to sign his cast with.

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I guess this is another case of bad parenting on my part and another great argument on why children need mothers. If Tyson and I keep doing extreme sports, I need to see if I can start bartering beef tenderloin for medical care?

Beef tenderloin will be one of the many items we will be preparing for our holiday open house in November. We will also have standing rib roast and a couple of pork items prepared for you to sample.

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open house 2

I also talked with Doug Carnathan, Coleen Cruze, and John Clark this week. Doug is a local producer of honey, Coleen’s family runs Cruze dairy farm, and John owns Vienna Coffee in Maryville.

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open house 1

They are all planning to be here for our open house. The list will continue to grow as the day nears.
This is a great event so I hope you will come by and meet and taste the products of all our local producers. The date of the event is November 21 from 11am to 2 pm.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life October 16, 2015

Grocery Life October 13, 2015

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tenderloin with trim

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week.
 

I just wanted to send out a quick reminder that our beef tenderloin sale ends this Sunday the 18th 2015. I’m not sure the pricing will be this low the rest of the year so I hope you get the chance to take advantage of this sale.
   

If you are not in the mood for beef tenderloin this weekend, we are now carrying a Cheshire Pork baby back rib from Heritage Farms. These have become our new favorite thing at home. I have found that however I cook them they turn out good. In the oven, on the grill or in the smoke, they always turn out tender, juicy and flavorful. If you are like me and can’t cook consistently good ribs, I would give these a try.

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cheshire ribs
       

We will also have a large assortment of “in house” smoked meats available this weekend. The crowd favorite right now is the smoked pork tenderloin so you may want to give that a try. I still take home our fried chicken twice a week. We typically have it for supper one night a week and the extra pack is to snack on the rest of the week. That’s probably too much fried food, but it’s gooood! If you don’t want to cook this weekend those would be some good options.

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fried chicken   

Lastly, last year around this time I wrote about some expectant parents wanting us to make a “reveal cake” for their baby shower. Nancy in our bakery, made it for them. The inside of the cake was pink and not long after, they had a beautiful little baby girl. This week they called back and wanted Nancy to make the cakes for her first birthday party. They are picking them up today so I would like to wish little miss Sophie a happy first birthday from Butler and Bailey Market.

 

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bday cake
   

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 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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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

Click here to view past blogs

 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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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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tomahawk ribeye

 

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

Click here to view past blogs

Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865)691-8881