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Butcher Block Meat Market

SBDC Assistance Helps Butcher Block Meat and Cheese

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For six years Kim and MariBeth Theusch dreamed of starting a business together. In November 2012, their dream became a reality when they opened Butcher Block Meats & Cheese in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Before launching their business, the Theusch's conducted countless hours of research and planning with some help from the UW-Oshkosh Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

"We had done some research about where we wanted to locate the shop and Oshkosh seemed like the best location as far as being pro business," says MariBeth. "The SBDC did a primary survey for us to determine whether it was viable, whether there was a market for us. That was very helpful."

The SBDC also advised the couple on their initial marketing plan and website design and even helped determine the best name for the business. "In the survey they asked about business names, which was helpful, because the name we thought we were going to use was actually not liked by people," adds MariBeth.

Butcher Block Meats & Cheese sells all Wisconsin-produced cheeses and sources its meats locally and regionally. Kim Theusch is the chief sausage maker, a skill he has mastered to the delight of anyone who samples his sausage. "We are one of the few companies that takes the time to hand craft our sausages the way it used to be done," he says. "It really has become sort of a lost art."

Many of the cheeses sold in the shop cannot be found anywhere else in the area. "And we cut to order," adds MariBeth. "Customers can come in and sample whatever we have in the case and can buy as much or as little as they want."

As with many new business, marketing is a primary challenge. The Theusch's currently market their business through radio, newspaper, billboards and social media. "We are trying a little bit of everything," notes MariBeth. "When people come in, we ask how they heard about us. We are trying to determine what has been effective and where to put our marketing dollars going forward."

Both Kim and MariBeth work fulltime at the shop with one part-time employee. They look forward to continued growth. "We want to be a contributor to the community, to hire people and just to make a good living for ourselves," says MariBeth.

To learn more about this new Wisconsin business check out www.bbmcoshkosh.com or stop by 234 N. Koeller St. in Oshkosh and taste Kim's handmade sausage for yourself.