LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – The pandemic wasn’t good for mom and pop stores. However, a specialty store in Las Vegas owes its loyal customers for helping out with the storm. 13 Action News host Alicia Pattillo leads us into a family-owned market selling unusual and hard-to-find foods.
LOVE WHAT WE DO
“We love what we do. It shows in our business,” says Chemaine Jensen.
She and her husband Tim are the proud owners of Village Meat and Wine on Eastern and Tropicana. The small market prides itself on selling hard-to-find quality meat.
CAMEL, PHEASANT, WILD BOAR
“We have ground camels, pheasants, wild boars … you won’t find them in grocery stores,” says Chemaine.
They also cut meat to your preferred thickness, freshly grind your burger, and make sausages to order. The store opened more than 40 years ago. Chemaine and Tim took it over more than two decades ago. It’s the kind of place where they seem to know almost every name.
“It’s nice to know that you’ve done something right and that you have people. I have a third generation who come in and shop with us,” says Chemaine.
But Chemaine admits the pandemic has really put their small business to the test.
“We’d have people out the door and we’d have to lock the door for two hours so we could cut and fill up … It was amazing. We were all so overwhelmed,” says Chemaine.
Business was good, but she says they really struggled to keep up with demand.
DIFFICULT TO FIND PRODUCT
“It was very difficult to find a product. My husband would sometimes go back for two hours just trying to find chicken,” says Chemaine.
She says that even butcher paper was in short supply. When they found what they needed, it was often at inflated prices. But that didn’t stop people from wanting to buy everything in sight.
“I would let people come in and buy my whole case of chicken that I had never seen before. Tim and I were both no, no. We can’t. Our loyals took care of us. We need to take care of them “says Chemaine.
Chemaine says that’s what small businesses are about. They ensure that their regulars are always looked after and have even been adding groceries since the pandemic began. They do everything because Chemaine says they don’t want to take any of this for granted.
“It means a lot when you can be so successful in Vegas because so many small businesses can’t,” says Chemaine.