LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The pandemic has not been kind to mom and pop grocery stores. But one Las Vegas specialty shop credits its loyal customers with helping it weather the storm. 13 Action News anchor Alicia Pattillo takes us inside a family-owned market serving up unusual and hard-to-find foods.
LOVE WHAT WE DO
"We love what we do. It shows in our shop," says Chemaine Jensen.
She and her husband Tim are the proud owners of Village Meat and Wine on Eastern and Tropicana avenues. The small market prides itself on carrying hard-to-find, quality meats.
CAMEL, PHEASANT, WILD BOAR
"We carry ground camel, pheasant, wild boar... You're not gonna find this in the grocery stores," says Jensen.
They also cut meat to your preferred thickness, grind your burger fresh, and make special-order sausage. The shop first opened more than 40 years ago with Chemaine and Tim taking over more than two decades ago. It's the kind of place where they seem to know just about everyone's name.
"It's gratifying to know you have done something right and you have people, I have third generations coming in and shopping with us," says Jensen.
But Jensen admits, the pandemic really put their small business to the test.
"We would have people out the door and we would have to lock up the door for two hours so we could cut and restock... It was unbelievable. All of us were like so overwhelmed," says Jensen.
Business was good, but she says they really struggled to keep up with demand.
HARD TO FIND PRODUCT
"It was very hard to find product. My husband would be back there sometimes for two hours just trying to find chicken," says Jensen.
She says even butcher paper was in short supply. When they did find what they needed, it was often at inflated prices. But that didn't stop people from wanting to buy everything in sight.
CARING FOR CUSTOMERS
"I would have people come in and want to buy my entire case of chicken, that I had never seen before. Tim and I both were no, no. We can't do that. Our loyals have taken care of us. We need to take care of them," says Jensen.
Jensen says that's what small business is all about. They make sure to always provide for their regulars, even adding grocery delivery since the start of the pandemic. They do it all because Jensen says they never want to take any of it for granted.
"It means a lot when you can be this successful in Vegas because so many small businesses don't make it," says Jensen.