By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Bashaw Star
A Bashaw landmark business has new owners.
Bashaw Meats & Sausage is a business founded in the community in 1910, and has been family-run during its lifetime — a trend continuing with the new owners.
The long-standing business has been purchased by Bobby and Dakota Hunker, both from the area. Dakota was raised in the community, and husband Bobby has lived in the region for the last six years, with their three young children.
“I wanted to come home and find something a little more stable,” said Bobby, who before purchasing the business worked away from home regularly.
“(I wanted) something that can keep a family business in the community here. I worked a few weekends here to see what it was like, and I decided I wanted to buy it.”
While the Hunkers took over the business on June 30, the previous owners, Darren and Carrie Pearson, have not walked away completely, and will be working with the Hunkers to ensure a smooth transition.
The Hunkers plan to continue carrying everything that the community expects in the family-run business, including their selection of sausage, bacon, beef jerky, pepperoni, and homemade burgers.
“Everything is going to remain the same,” said Bobby.
“We might add more products, if anything. We’re definitely going to keep the prices as low as they can be, for the cost of living right now. We don’t want anything to change in this little store we have. I want people to keep coming back.
“A big thing for us is the homemade sausage and bacon,” said Bobby. “We can barely keep up with that during the week.”
In addition to working in the business during the week, Bobby has been working with a master butcher on weekends to learn the skills of the trade. While he grew up on the farm and was familiar with the butchering process, he has not actually gone to school for the work.
He had attempted to register for a diploma program, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the courses were postponed, and now that things are reopening Bobby found himself on a waitlist three to four years long.
“I decided to go out and find a master butcher who is legally allowed to teach,” said Bobby.
“He took me on weekends, and we were breaking down beef, learning muscle anatomy and primal cuts.”
Bashaw Meats & Sausage is open Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.