Boucherie du Marché Maisonneuve: Butchers from One Generation to the Next
Daniel Jodoin didn’t just give a job to his two sons, Samuel and Simon. He gave them his love and passion for the butcher’s trade. His shop, kitchen and cold room are not only their workplace, but also where they meet and interact daily. Early every morning, the three men band together to work at the Jodoin’s Maisonneuve Market butcher shop.
Trained as a chef saucier at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), Daniel Jodoin turned to butchery after years in the hotel business – a trade and schedule that were much better suited for the father of four children.
His two sons grew up among meat carcasses, doing their homework in the backrooms of his first two establishments. “And when I was sent home from school for bad behaviour, my dad made me work!” recalls Simon (who marinated his first chicken drumsticks at age seven).
Daniel’s two daughters also worked in the family business, and still occasionally stop by to help out on weekends. “At one point, my four kids were working with me at the same time, it was really fun!” laughs the friendly butcher, who had stores in Saint-Hubert and Repentigny before moving to Maisonneuve Market 12 years ago.
A Unique Relationship
Daniel starts his workday at dawn, at five o’clock to be precise. Between deboning carcasses, preparing ready-to-eat meals, making cuts of meat and sausage (including their famous 100% lamb merguez) and giving culinary advice to customers, there’s very little down time at the Jodoin butcher shop.
And his sons may well be both qualified butchers as they approach 30, Dad the Perfectionist still has plenty of advice for them. “I always find things to complain about, don’t I?” says the father, teasing his boys about the preparation of veal liver. “It’s all about experience. Otherwise, it’s wonderful to work with your kids.”
The two brothers agree that it’s a privilege to work with the family. “There’s definitely an unconditional trust already established. It’s not like having to create a bond with an employee you just hired,” says Samuel, the talkative one. “Being brothers, we complement and understand each other well. But it’s not like that in all families,” says Simon, the quiet of the two.
The three butchers won’t pretend that everything is always hunky-dory, but the bond between them helps to weather the occasional storm. “When there’s a conflict, it easily becomes personal because of the family ties. It wouldn’t be the case if we were just employees,” explains Samuel, whose two young children recently started to spend time at the shop. “On the other hand, we’re able to talk things through, because we’ve always done that. We talk to each other to find out what’s going wrong, at work, as well as in our lives.”
The Challenge of Passing on Passion
For Daniel Jodoin, the greatest challenge of a family business was imparting its intrinsic value. “I had to nurture their passion in order to bring it to the same level as mine,” explains the patriarch. “I’m really proud to have given them the love of the trade. I showed them the way, but I never forced them into it.”
The two sons experimented on their own before finding their way back to the family business. “We worked elsewhere, we saw and experienced other things to realize what’s really important,” says Simon.
What is the Most Important Thing?
All three men agree that the creativity and the close contact with their customers are what they like best. And the chance they have to work with people they love. “They’re the best employees in the world! They’re reliable and hard-working. It’s clear they want to move forward, and that they’re passionate about their trade,” says Daniel Jodoin, visibly proud to have passed on his legacy.
Quick Questions to Samuel
Describe the market’s vibe in a few words?
Beautiful clientele: refined customers who know what they want and look for quality.
What motivates you to get up so early in the morning?
The satisfaction of working for myself inasmuch as all the effort we put into the business comes back to us. I wouldn’t give as much to a supermarket chain where I’d just be a number.
Name a must-have product to get when visiting your shop?
Our merguez is exceptional. If you come to the market, you have to try it!
Text by Benoit Valois-Nadeau, magazine Caribou Translated by Marie-Andrée Parent Photos: Daphné Caron
Text by Benoit Valois-Nadeau, magazine Caribou
Translated by Marie-Andrée Parent
Photos: Daphné Caron
Read all the FAMILY PORTRAITS
Producers, merchants and artisans together make up the Montréal Public Markets’ extended family. For years, often for generations, they’ve been getting up early, experimenting, sometimes starting over, nurturing, harvesting and flourishing! Day after day, they stand proudly behind their stalls as if by their own dining-room table, inviting us to feast. They’re the heart and soul of the markets – their very essence – and the reason we keep coming back. The Family Portrait series aims to pay tribute to all the pillars of our public markets.This project is funded through the Programme Proximité of the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, a program implemented under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership according to an agreement between the governments of Canada and Québec.