KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)– HenHoc opened its doors for the first time at 11 a.m. Friday, and you would’ve never of known it was the shop’s first day.
As soon as they opened, a long line of people waiting to see what the new butcher shop in the Old City had to offer was able to go inside.
Jeffery DeAlejandro, the owner of HenHoc, said he’s been living in the Old City for about five years and knows the neighborhood needed a butcher shop/fresh market/deli.
“I feel like right now, in more time than any, everybody’s cooking,” he said. “A lot of people are inside their homes all day.
DeAlejandro said owning a butcher shop has always been a passion and dream of his and his butcher so the pandemic wasn’t going to stop them from opening.
In fact, DeAlejandro said it was the perfect time to open his business.
“And because we have such good relationships with farmers, it’s been awesome that we already serve that (meat) at OliBea cooked, but if you don’t want to come in and sit down, or you don’t want to-go, you can grab something really quick and go home and do it,” DeAlejandro said.
The pandemic did change DeAlejandro’s vision for HenHoc.
Due to social distancing rules, he couldn’t make the shop into more of a deli where people could sit and eat.
One aspect of the pandemic won’t really affect HenHoc though. Unlike grocery stores where some cuts of meat are hard to find or are a little more expensive, HenHoc doesn’t have to worry about the middleman for processing.
“You get the best product. We found the best beef, the best pork, the best chicken in Tennessee and those prices have stayed steady,” DeAlejandro said.
“The biggest cost right now is going to a place like a major grocery store and they’re losing those processors that can break down beef. We’re here to break down beef. We’re here to do certain cuts,” he continued.
HenHoc not only sells meat cut fresh to your liking but also fresh local produce, some everyday groceries like rice and flour, deli sandwiches and charcuterie.
DeAlejandro said they will soon have pickled goods and more.
He said that butchering is a lost art and he hopes HenHoc becomes more than a place to buy meat, but also a part of the neighborhood.
“I think a butcher shop is like … your barber you know,” DeAlejandro said. “They know your kids; they know what you do for a living. Like, that’s how HenHoc wants to be is a butcher shop. We know your name. We know what you like.”
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