Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Roni Terry, owner of The Meat Market, located in Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a craft butcher shop that specializes in Arizona 100% Pasture Raised Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken & Eggs. We are a whole animal butcher shop, which means that we have all the cuts you can't find anymore. We also offer Top 1% Prime Black Angus Beef, dry-aged in house for at least 30 days. All of our steaks, chops, roasts, etc., are cut to order. Our guests run the spectrum of "I want to start eating and feeding my family better quality meat on a daily basis" to "I am planning a special dinner, what's the best cut you've got?". We love introducing our guests to what quality meat should taste like, from our fresh ground beef (cut and ground daily) to our Market Bacon (nitrate-free, made and smoked in house from our pasture-raised pork) to our unbeatable pasture laid eggs, with their super flavorful, creamy orange yolks.

Tell us about yourself

Opening a butcher shop was not a lifelong dream of mine. It just sort of happened one day after moving here from Atlanta in 2013. I was here a few months and was struggling with what grocery stores in our area offer and how their meat was severely lacking in comparison to what I was able to get at stores in Atlanta. I made a comment to our, now business neighbor, Bryan at Brix Wines, that "someone should really open a butcher shop" as there is no good meat up here. Within about a month, the space next to him came available, and the next thing I knew, I was signing a lease. We are about 5-1/2 years in, and the team that keeps this machine moving is a great one. Besides myself, we have three full-time employees who all work their tails off, and they all have a very high level of integrity which works in keeping all of our standards high. One never lets the other fail or slip. It's a dream come true to work with these great guys every single day. It's working alongside this team that motivates me to keep growing and improving our business.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My personal biggest accomplishment when it comes to our shop is keeping the bar raised in regards to our integrity in everything that we do every day. I had no idea what I was doing when we opened, but I knew what my vision was. While I had to make some modifications in that vision throughout the years, I never lost the drive to create a business that elevates the standards and expectations of our industry. The team that runs the show here, Josh, Dale & Duffy, come in ready to work every day, and they truly keep it going. Our guests, many now friends, keep coming back and continue to tell their friends. Their' word of mouth' praise in our community gives us a reason (and the ability) to open up every day and supply our friends and neighbors with fresh, quality meat and provisions. That is a pretty great feeling.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

In the beginning, it was learning to take the negative criticism with a very large grain of salt. There was a lot of stress and pressure to be the butcher shop that everyone grew up within this town or that town. I had to constantly remind myself that we are our own shop and stick to our guns and not be too hard on ourselves for not being everything to everyone... that took a few years. There are still days I have to remind myself what we are doing here is important.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't be afraid to fail. About six months before opening, my path crossed with the CFO of a Fortune 500 Company, and what he told me stuck with me and got me through the hardest days... He said, do not be afraid to fail. It's not simply failing that makes you a failure... it's not getting back up and fighting to succeed. I live by that and offer it to anyone starting any type of business.
  2. Treat your staff well. If you're lucky enough to find a good team, take care of them. If they are the right fit, they will appreciate it and treat your business as though it's their own.
  3. Be genuine in your business. If you are producing and selling things that you believe in, it will translate to your guests.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

When we opened, my mission was to supply meat to our area from animals that ate clean and lived well. We have been able to keep doing this without cutting corners, and it's a great feeling. We still make all of our fresh sausages, bacon, charcuterie, prepared foods, spice rubs, and condiments in-house, from scratch. We know where all of our meat comes from, and we know the American Farmers that raise them. We love being a part of the memories made while sitting around the dinner table or at a BBQ. We hope to continue being a part of our guests' lives for many years to come.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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