McKinnon takes helm at M&M

Fresh from franchisee training and eager to start something new, Chris McKinnon officially began his role as the new owner of M&M Meat Shops here Monday morning.
“I’m quite excited about it,” said McKinnon, who also owns Skates & Blades.
“I went through three weeks of training, plus training at home to prepare me for this. It’s a franchise with somewhere in the area of 460 stores.
“I feel that I’m well-trained for it,” he stressed. “I think my retail experience is something that’s going to help me here.
“Hopefully, I’m going to see a lot of my customers from Skates & Blades, and hopefully a lot of new faces, too,” McKinnon added.
McKinnon said he’ll be keeping the existing staff, as well as “bring a little bit of new staff in,” including some help from family members.
“Basically, we’re looking to carry on and improve what’s been a very successful business,” he remarked. “The expectation of the franchise is you should be able to walk into any M&M Meat Shop in Canada and it should be a very similar experience.
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
“There’s some great things Garth did in the past and we don’t want to change that,” McKinnon continued. “But we want to bring some of our own new, great ideas in, too.”
McKinnon highly encouraged customers to take a good look at M&M Meat Shops’ “Good Eating” guide and get a better idea of the wide variety of products the store offers (he estimated the local store caries more than 450 different products).
“All in all, I’m very excited with the franchise. I’m very, very pleased with what I’ve learned,” he enthused.
McKinnon clarified that while he’ll be focusing more on M&M Meat Shops right now, he will continue to run both businesses and nothing will change at Skates & Blades, which he’s owned for the past five years.
He explained that when he learned former M&M Meat Shops owners Garth Donald and Judie Campbell were looking to sell the franchise, he pursued the business opportunity.
“I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like to stay idle very long, and I’m at a point with Skates & Blades where I felt I’ve got a good handle on the business,” McKinnon said.
“Between Garth and myself, we made this opportunity and I jumped at it.
“Franchise business is a little bit different, with different guidelines. But normally, it’s a proven system and I’m quite excited about what I’ve seen and what I’m going to see.”
McKinnon said his franchisee training included two weeks in class in Kitchener, where he learned about all of the M&M Meat Shops products, and another full week working behind the counter in the corporate store there.
McKinnon said he wanted to open his doors this week without too much fanfare, but will hold an official grand opening in the near future.