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Bardstown butcher business booms as concerns grow about food supply amid pandemic

Boone’s Butcher Shop says they’re keeping up with demand, selling beyond what they normally would on any given day.

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — The line out front looks like a cattle call. Boone's Butcher Shop is one of the hottest businesses in Bardstown. Due to social distancing requirements, the line of customers wraps around a nearby barbershop.

This unique butcher business is a one-stop-shop for carnivores. Meaning, workers here can do it all onsite--from slaughter to packaging. There are not a lot of places like this and their versatility is becoming a big draw.

As processing plants close and officials warn that some beef, pork, and chicken products are going to be more scarce in the coming weeks, butcher shops are in high demand.

Allison Boone Porteus is the third generation to work at this family-owned business.

“We are seeing an increase in business because people are really trying to stock up right now and I think they trust that places like ours are not going to run out of meat because we're not going to run out of meat,” Alison said.

They're selling at a rate, unlike anything Allison's grandfather could have imagined. Meat is flying out the door at the rate of 30,000 to 40,000 pounds some days owners say.

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The demand is so great, they're not just relying on local farmers to ship in livestock. They've had to into bigger distributors.

“It's impossible to slaughter enough animals and process enough animals to sell this much meat”, she explained. “It's not possible. So we've really had to rely more so on those bigger distributors to help fill those gaps.”

Boone’s has been around for nearly 80 years and the owners say this crisis is creating a new clientele. Long-time customers say they're seeing new faces too, even if those new faces are behind protective masks.

"There's certain things you can buy here that you can't get anywhere else, so I was trying to give them (new customers) some help but it's good it's good for business,” says long-time customer Rob Powers.

“It's pretty impressive right now, in a town like this there’s no meat nowhere. It's great,” first-time customer Benton Daily said.

Despite the success, the Boones would love to go back to the days of not needing PPE, sneeze guards, and “don't touch the merchandise” signs.

“We are seeing a lot of new customers and we hope those customers remember us when things go back to normal. Our customer service isn't as good as it normally is. We're big on that extra touch of customer service and we're not able to do that right now but we're hoping to go back to that,” Allison says.

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