National Career Search ends at a Custom Butcher Shop on Great Falls’ Central Avenue

Originally from Geraldine, MT (a small town 60 miles Southeast of Great Falls), Drew Hicks began his career search by moving to Denver, a search that also led him to brief stints in Brooklyn, NY and Colorado Springs, CO. After settling temporarily in Colorado Springs seeking part-time work, Drew found himself working at the butcher shop at Whole Foods. 

“As I worked my way into the store’s meat department, I immediately realized that I wanted to learn as much as possible about this ‘new world.'” Drew’s quest for knowledge then led him to Fleishers Craft Butchery in Brooklyn, where he was able to learn the craft of meat processing.

“Central Montana, and Great Falls in particular, has such a natural advantage in being surrounded by many great ranchers, that it became more and more obvious (and a little frustrating) that a butcher shop like Central Avenue Meats didn’t already exist.”

After returning to Colorado from NYC, Drew began working on the idea of a craft butcher shop in Central Montana. “Central Montana, and Great Falls in particular, has such a natural advantage in being surrounded by many great ranchers, that it became more and more obvious (and a little frustrating) that a butcher shop like Central Avenue Meats didn’t already exist.”

“Jason walked me through aspects of the business I had no interest in, but that extra push is ultimately what made the business as successful as it could be.”

Returning to Great Falls, MT with an idea and a location in mind, Drew turned to Great Falls Development Authority for assistance. Jason Nitschke of the business advising team walked Drew through multiple aspects of starting a business including business planning, financial projections, market and supply chain research, real estate development assistance, and much more. “Jason walked me through aspects of the business I had no interest in, but that extra push is ultimately what made the business as successful as it could be.”

“A thriving downtown is usually a sign of community economic health, and we are overjoyed to play our part in that.”

“As more businesses open up downtown, and bring more customers with them, it feels like a perfect place to minister to the needs of the community, namely providing nutritious, locally-raised meat at an affordable price. Also, with the growing number of people who are living downtown, it fits to have a shop available that offers local meat in smaller quantities, especially as more people utilize us as a daily grocery resource. A thriving downtown is usually a sign of community economic health, and we are overjoyed to play our part in that.”

If you are looking to start, expand, or innovate a business in the Great Falls, Montana region, contact Jolene Schalper at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org or call (406) 750-4481 to get connected.