Quick Facts


Year Opened


Family Owned


Location in Progress


Northeast Region Best Small Business Honoree
  • Initial Situation

    Robert (Bob) Otwell was a supermarket meat department manager for 3 years, passionate about providing quality to his customers. But after dealing with frustration surrounding the limitations of his position, he and his wife Kate set out to open their own business where they could specialize in premium meats and quality service for their community.
  • How the SBDC helped

    After looking at prospective locations to open their business, the Otwell’s found a great location within their community that happened to come with a potential investor. Both Bob and Kate had a background in business management, but neither had experience in writing a detailed business plan from scratch, so they turned to the SBDC for help. Their consultant, David Emmel, was able to work closely with them to create a successful business plan and secure their investor, as well as continuously answer questions and offer advice as their business launched and grew.
  • Success

    In just two years, Bob’s Butcher Shop, LLC has gone from two passionate people’s idea to a booming, full service butcher shop in Northeastern Michigan. From January 2018 to January 2019, sales increased by 30% and the shop has become a community leader in growth and economic impact. Their shop has reached customers from around the state who have traveled to taste the quality offered and they continue to support their customer’s needs.

Robert (Bob) and Kate Otwell are passionate entrepreneurs in rural Northern Michigan who have built a booming business in just two years. Frustrated with the quality being served at the supermarket where Bob managed the meat department for 3 years, they decided to start their own specialty butcher shop where they could guarantee value and service to their customers.

In 2017 the couple found a suitable location to open their shop, and it even opened the door to a potential investor. Bob and Kate both had a background in business management, however they were unsure how to proceed with writing an extensive business plan to secure their investor, so they turned to the SBDC for help. Their consultant, David Emmel, was happy to walk them through the steps to write a business plan and secure their investor.

The shop opened a few months later after a quick renovation and preparation period, and has been a community leader in growth ever since. Sales increased by 30% from January 2018 to January 2019 and they have served an increasingly diverse set of customers.

“I think what sets us apart is our customer service – we really put our money where our mouth is,” says Kate Otwell, “Dave has been great to work with, he stops in often and always offers advice.”

The SBDC has continuously helped the Otwells with their brand, marketing strategy, and answering any questions that they might have. They are now a full service butcher shop in a small town with an old-fashioned sense of community and offer only the best specialty meat selection.

The quality of the products and the experience offered at this shop has kept it growing and allowed it to thrive, and the relationship they have built with their community shows through their business’ success. Bob and Kate are looking into opening a second location in the future as they continue to be a remarkable Michigan small business.

To learn more about Bob’s Butcher Shop, LLC, visit their website and Facebook, or call the shop at (989) 281-1555.

Published: September 7, 2019


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