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Meet the owner

After training and apprenticing to be a butcher in Alberta, Patrick Harkness — who originally hails from the UK — came back to Vancouver and opened Harkness & Co. Butchers at the corner of Fraser and Broadway in January of 2012. Still in his twenties, Patrick decided to open his own business rather than work for someone else. “I'm not really suited to working for other people,” he explains.

In addition to wanting to be his own boss, Patrick's a big believer in eating locally and sources all his meat directly from BC farmers. “When I was training in Alberta I saw how the food system in Canada is set up and there are lots of things wrong with how everything's processed centrally. If you have smaller operations it creates more work on a local level.”

As for the location of his store, near the somewhat desolate corner of Fraser and Broadway, choosing that space was one part strategy, “this is a great neighbourhood, it's constantly changing and there was nothing here to serve the people.” And the other part necessity, “When you're in your twenties and you're starting your first business you go where you can find a space. A lot of the places I looked at wanted to rent to a chain business, not someone young just starting out.”

Read the story of Co Harkness

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Meet your (sausage) maker: Vancouver butcher shops

Meet your (sausage) maker: Vancouver butcher shops

When twenty-something Patrick Harkness opened his shop, he knew being a sole proprietor was the route for him. Opting for the cheaper rent that his Fraser location afforded, his risk is paying off, despite his youth and the somewhat shady location. Locals flock for grass-fed meat and game including bison and venison, which are all non-medicated, and hormone- and steroid-free. Harkness & Co. Butchers also smokes and cures its own bacon and sausages. Judging by his regular customers, a butcher shop was exactly what the area needed.

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