My ongoing photo series on Ottawa chef group, the Bytown Chefs Collective, didn’t take me far from my house to meet and photograph the next member. Today I’d like to introduce you to the Cobden Rd Butcher, David Wallace, owner and head butcher at Around The Block Butcher Shop. Oh, and he’s got a knife collection that would make Mick Dundee jealous.
Formerly known as Brian’s Butchery & Deli, David worked at the shop for three or four years before he was presented with the opportunity to buy the shop and assume responsibility as Head Butcher. In 2014 he did just that, re-branded the company with a new name and logo, and brought in a host of locally produced meats and preserves. At just 27 years old and working six days a week, David embodies the qualities that this new wave of culinary artists need in order to survive and thrive in their industry. And his timing couldn’t be better.
David’s presence in the shop is infectious, and is one of the reasons why his business succeeds. He knows his customers by name, and makes time to chat and share a few laughs with each one. He works with local farmers, coffee companies, and canning companies, and offers the best products he can at the most competitive prices. And with supermarket prices continuing to rise as they are, it’s no wonder people are turning to support local business like David’s.
Like the other members of his Collective, David possesses an openness, inventiveness, and willingness to collaborate with colleagues in the city. While visiting the shop in the middle of the week, it meant he wasn’t butchering so much as serving his customers and attending to the deli side of the business. However, two nights earlier David teamed up with chef Stephen La Salle of The Albion Rooms to prepare sausages for Stephen’s Beer Banger Bash, a special brunch collaboration with Beau’s Brewery that kicked of Craft Beer Week.
David Wallace is a smart and savvy businessman, and he is a role model for young entrepreneurs. I wish his business the best of luck and look forward to being the newest member of his growing list of customers.