Dartmouth's Gateway Meat Market has recipe for cheap groceries

Gateway Meat Market, an independent grocery store, draws in customers with big weekly sales.

'We’re much happier seeing our customers leave with a smile'

The Gateway Meat Market has a small building housing big savings on select groceries. (Facebook)

The Gateway Meat Market in Dartmouth is gaining a reputation for unbeatable deals on select produce and meat. 

The independent grocery store offers sales that see cauliflower and broccoli go on sale for 97 cents each, while some larger grocery chains sell cauliflower for more than $5.99.

"We do a lot of negotiating with our suppliers based on the volumes that we sell, we're one of the busiest meat departments in Atlantic Canada. With the business that we bring in we sell a lot of produce alongside with that," said Tamara McKay, owner of Gateway Meat Market.

The market also sells goods from multiple suppliers.

McKay said having suppliers fight to get their products on her shelves means they will offer her lower prices, which she can pass along to her customers.  

Every week she and her staff pick a staple food item to put on sale.

"We don't do any advertising, we don't have a lot of overhead because we're just one location so that definitely cuts down on costs and we just pass the deals right on to our customers," McKay told CBC Radio's Information Morning.

Slimmer profit margins

The Gateway Meat Market is able to offer special sale prices for several reasons. It has very little overhead and doesn't spend on advertising. (Facebook)

Still those great deals come at a price. Despite a large number of customers the grocery store isn't flush with cash.

"We don't have the profit margins that most stores do," McKay said. "We're much happier seeing our customers leave with a smile and tell us thank you. That means the world to a small business owner."  

McKay said the store is breaking even and she has no desire to open other stores or franchise out. 

Even though she has no plans to move, the Gateway Meat Market has expanded three times since it opened in 2008. The store now takes up 10,000 square feet. 

"We don't want to stretch ourselves too thin, we like being here, we like being here everyday and being hands on."   


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