Fredericton's Victory Meat Market loses beloved former owner

Victory Meat Market, a Fredericton grocery institution, closed for two hours Friday in memory of Bernard (Mike) Chippin, the hard-working former own that employees considered a role model.

Bernard (Mike) Chippin, longtime owner of downtown grocery, has died at 87

The Victory Meat Market in Fredericton closed for two hours Friday in memory of former owner Bernard (Mike) Chippin, who died Wednesday. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

Bernard (Mike) Chippin, the former owner of Victory Meat Market in Fredericton, died Wednesday at the age of 87.

Chippin and his brother Harry both owned the downtown Fredericton institution, known for local food and warm-hearted service, and also founded the Chippin Brothers Abattoir and H&B Realty.

Chippin, who had cancer, lived in Fredericton but his funeral was in Toronto.

Chippin and his brother Harry took over the store from their father, Simon, who started Victory Meat Market in 1939. (Victory Meat Market/Facebook)

Victory Meat Market, which was opened in 1939 by Chippin's father, Simon, closed for two hours on Friday to remember the man employees considered a role model.

The grocery store on King Street is an institution in downtown Fredericton. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

Chippin never missed a day of work and everyone will miss his presence, said Nick Mouzar, who works a variety of jobs at the store.

Mouzar said Chippin was a father-like figure to many young employees.

Nick Mouzar, who works in the produce section, says Chippin's presence will be missed in the store. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

Some customers on Friday didn't know Chippin personally but said they have been shopping at the grocery store for decades. 

Abdi Shire, who has worked at the market for five years, said Chippin was a role model to him.

"We were very close," said Shire. "We'll be missing him."

Abdi Shire, who has worked at Victory Meat Market for five years, said he was very close with Chippin. He said he will miss him a lot. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

They bonded in the produce department, often having personal chats while cutting up orange slices. 

"He created a created and built an amazing place to work."

Shire said one of his funniest memories was of Chippin sneaking foods he wasn't supposed to eat.

Victory Meat Market which open in 1939 has been a community fixture. This a flyer from 1942. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

"He's not supposed to eat pepperoni and stuff," Shire said. "Now and then, he would come in and that's the first thing he grabs. And I'd be like 'You can't eat pepperoni,' and he'd say things like "the hell with it.'"

The thought of not having Chippin around made Shire emotional.

'Just an incredible guy' 

Many people will remember about Chippin for his passion about making sure customers knew exactly what they were paying. 

"When he come out on the floor, 'You gotta have a sign, can't sell it without a sign,'" said Pat Stafford, a third-generation employee of the market.

Pat Stafford, a floor manager at Victory Meat Market, said Chippin was willing to help anyone who needed it. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC)

Stafford recalled Chippin's willingness to help anyone, including the staff, and said the family has left a strong legacy.  

"They will bend over backwards to help anyone," said Stafford.

Many shoppers at Victory Meat Market have been going to the store for decades. (Nathalie Sturgeon/CBC )

And Chippin made everyone feel like family,  Shire said.

"Just an incredible guy."

About the Author

Nathalie Sturgeon


Nathalie Sturgeon is a reporter for CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She is a recent graduate from the journalism program at St. Thomas University. She is from Blackville.