Chambersburg grocer the Butcher Shoppe branches into mini-markets, catering
The Butcher Shoppe in Chambersburg has been family-owned and operated for three generations, but the husband-and-wife team of Anne and Leo Schoenhofen have been putting their own stamp on the business since taking it over in 2016.
They are investing in micro-markets in the Chambersburg area and are renovating a building in the borough to house a commercial kitchen and event space.
Despite what the name suggests, the Butcher Shoppe has long been more than a meat market. It is a grocery store that includes a deli, a bakery and a tasting kitchen where customers can sample new food items before purchasing.
In a statement, Lark Plessinger, communications manager for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, described the Butcher Shoppe as “a forward-thinking business dedicated to our growing community.”
“Their brand resonates with locals and visitors as a made-from-scratch, destination grocer where you can find just about anything you’re looking for, from delicious baked goods to fresh seafood,” Plessinger said.
Leo Schoenhofen, the company’s president and CEO, describes the concept of the micro-market as an alternative to traditional vending machines: The Butcher Shoppe crafts a variety of fresh products, from sandwiches and breakfast items to desserts and coffee, and restocks the small stores daily for use by patrons.
“We’re always looking for areas of growth to expand our business, and this was an idea where we felt we could really grow,” said Leo. Anne Schoenhofen is the company’s vice president and marketing director.
Mark Story, Coyle’s senior director of advancement and publicity, said that the option of grab-and-go fresh food was on the minds of many Chambersburg residents when asked what they wanted from the recently-renovated town library. Coyle joined forces with the Butcher Shoppe — an organization with “a proven reputation in running a satellite location and … strong brand recognition,” Story said — and the two organization refined a plan.
Several community members initially raised sanitation-related concerns — for instance, the potential for food spillage and trash overflow — about having a food market in the library. But, Story said, “Public libraries are changing, and we want Coyle to be inviting and comfortable …We’ve chosen to trust library patrons to govern themselves, with direction, believing that a clean and open environment is what we all want.”
Story said the new micro-market has been highly popular among library patrons. “We’ve seen people schedule casual meetings at Coyle just because there is a good food selection and a pleasing atmosphere,” said Story. “Common experiences and a higher level of relationships are shared over food, and it is great to see people discover something new at the library.”
Leo said the company is in talks with several other potential clients in the area with whom they hope to open additional markets later this year. He declined to share details on financial arrangements for the micro-markets.
In addition to opening micro-markets, the Schoenhofens purchased a two-story warehouse on Grant Street last December and are converting it into what they have dubbed “The Grant Street Loft.”
The completed project will include a full commercial kitchen on the first level and an events center with a full rooftop deck on the second. According to Leo, the building will accommodate between 150 and 200 people and can be used for any number of gatherings, from weddings to business luncheons. They plan to have the center up and running by early fall.
“We get lots of requests for catering — we always have, every year,” Leo said.
According to Leo, the store’s origins can be traced back to 1957 when it opened as Kennie’s Market, a joint venture between Anne’s grandparents, Glenn and Lorraine Koons, and their business partner, Ken Faust. The Koons family became full-time owners in 1964 and rechristened Kennie’s as Scotland Road Market, after the store’s parent corporation. It is separate from the Kennie’s Market chain in York and Adams counties.
The Butcher Shoppe’s current location at 410 Stouffer Ave. opened in 1977 and grew quickly. After nearly three decades of renovation and growth, Anne’s parents, Frank and Mary Sue Keath, assumed ownership in 2006.
The Schoenhofens say that their staff members — currently 175 strong, 75 of whom work full-time — are largely to thank for the Butcher Shoppe’s success.
“We’re a very hands-on company,” Leo says. “I’m always in awe of how hard our staff works, and I always enjoy working with them. … They’re awesome to come in to. It makes my job much easier.”