Their name is actually rather telling, because this is more than just a butcher shop, this butcher shop has a global perspective and is evolving into one of the most comprehensive and cool businesses in Emery Village.
Globe Meats was established in 1974. Emery Village Voice stopped by this week to speak with Dante DiBiase, President of Globe Meats Fresh Market & Grill. He explained that it’s a family affair. Globe was begun by his father, Pasquale. His first store was Casa de Baby Beef, partnered with his uncle at Rogers and St. Clair in Toronto. They were one of the first in the GTA handling large wholesale orders, serving whole carcasses and freezer orders as well as the odd custom cut.
“We had Italian, Irish, Spanish and a mixture of ethnicities in the area,” Dante said. “But eventually, the demographics of the area changed and we moved with our customers.”
Globe moved north up the 400, as many of us have…and ended up at their location at Finch Ave. and Signet Dr. They took over an 8,600 square foot space in a historical building erected in the 1950s. The area had a shortage on local meat suppliers and Globe pushed for just that, soon becoming famous for their lamb.
Dante has grown up with the business, starting when he was 13.
Memories of these times are all pictured on Globe’s nostalgia wall, taken from their family photo album.
“I remember running the deli with my grandfather, we’d be here on the weekends, grating cheese, pushing shopping carts, discarding boxes…we learned the business from the ground up.”
The younger owner also saw the business changing over the years, however. Wholesale demand was declining and retail demand increasing.
“People’s lives were changing”, Dante said. “We were still one of the only butcher shops that were dealing in whole carcasses. We will never forget our roots, but the average working person has less free time, meaning less freezer orders and more convenience, prime cuts and retail packaging.”
Smaller prime retail cuts and a meat counter became the necessity. In the mid-90s, Dante began offering just that, and their business began to evolve in front of their eyes.
“We’re still an A to Z butcher shop that does everything in house,” Dante said. “But we had to move with the trends into more retail and prepared foods, including fully prepared meals and a hot counter, was a natural move. Dante has a great interest in the culinary side of the business and enjoys the creative outlet, as well as the ability to bring a fine meal option to Emery Village residents.
“There are 2,500 businesses in this area and it used to be that if you came to work and forgot your lunch, you didn’t have many options,” Dante said. Those days are over.
Globe is in the middle of its next evolution, which will see it become a butcher shop, grocery and sit down with a take out food option like no other.
A change in their industry regulations in 2004 and 2005, due to some poorly timed revelations from other large butchers practices, saw them looking for a new location, or an addition.
“We used to use sawdust on the floor, now we are required to do full sanitation wash downs. The old store was not designed for that. It didn’t have a proper drainage system, an interceptor in the ground. It became an old, outdated butcher shop. And it wasn’t going to be possible to renovate and update that store.”
In 2011, a pasta plant beside them was looking for a buyer. The opportunity knocked and they opened another new door.
A re-branding is in full swing as Globe Meats Fresh Market and grill as been locked in and ready to go. There are now 22,000 square feet of total service space, with 38,000 square feet of additional space. Visitors will shop 8,500 square feet of butcher, 13,000 square feet of retail and 5,000 square feet of prepared foods and restaurant seating.
“We’re looking to let the community know, Globe is not just a meat shop and wholesaler anymore.”
No, today they are about pizza ovens and freshly prepared meals with the best cuts of meat available, salads, breads, a full scale food retailer and so much more.
All still run by the boy who grew up behind the butcher counter.
“I grew up in this business, and I love it,” Dante said. “ Our whole culinary dream has become a reality, we are 100 per cent Canadian and we are ready for the people of Emery to come and Meat the Grill.”
Globe Meats is open seven days a week. Mon-Tue: 9-6, Wed-Fri: 9-8, Sat: 8-6 and Sun: 10-4. Restaurant servings will be announced soon…stay tuned!
They are located at 61 Signet Dr, North York, and can be reached at 416-745-7000 or email@example.com.