'Turkeys are flying out of here': Brockville, Ont. butcher shop sees brisk business for Thanksgiving weekend

The nice weather, along with families able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, means turkeys are a hard commodity to find in Brockville, Ont. this holiday weekend.

Rick Orr from the Butcher Shop said when he arrived to work at 9 a.m. Saturday there was already a line-up.

"By 9:30 it had let up for a bit, then at 10 o'clock they were lined up again. So it's just, you get run over," Orr said.

"The weekend has been awesome. The weather has been perfect, everybody is buying beef and turkeys are flying out of here," Orr added.

Customers on Saturday were scrambling to grab that last-minute meat for Thanksgiving before spending time with family.

"Once you get the nice weather, everybody wants to cook on the grill," Orr said. "They are still doing turkeys, but lots of briskets, pork butts and lots of beef, lots of prime rib."

Orr's daughter Courtney added if you didn't pre-order a turkey earlier, they don't have any more left to offer.

"This year, it's like we don't have enough, we're sold out," she said. "People are coming in asking for more and we don't have any more to get! We almost could have ordered more."

Last year was a different story she said, as they had to cancel orders for the big bird.

"No one was getting together so there wasn't really a high demand for turkeys last year," Courtney added.

Customers in line at the cash, buying all sorts of alternatives.

"Chicken Kiev, six of them, and some mettworst sausages for a meat tray," said one man.

"Turkey is obviously on the menu but try to get some appetizers here as well," added Chris Leeder, visiting family from Toronto.

"It's always nice to get some steaks on the BBQ throughout the weekend and mix up the menu," Leeder added.

Picking up their pre-ordered turkey, Thomas and Denise McLean were feeling inspired by the warmer temperatures.

"We are going to BBQ our turkey," Thomas said with a smile.

"We are trying this time. Not deep-frying, we're actually going to BBQ."

For those looking to forego the turkey, Orr says there are other meals that can fill the void.

"A traditional ham, smoked ham, put it on the BBQ, put in the oven just warm and serve. It's easy," he said.

"We have a lot of store made meals as well, so lasagnas, Shepherds Pie, stuff like that," added Courtney.

Outside, John Pelzmann is happy with his Wagyu Steak purchase.

"I thought I knew steaks until I discovered these," Pelzmann said. "You cannot botch these up, because I botch things up all the time! These are foolproof. They are worth the money though, medium rare, perfect, just sear them, four to five minutes a side and there are done."

While the menu at households will undoubtedly vary, Orr says there was one shared feeling among the customers today walking through his doors.

"Everybody's happy. Last year with the lockdown, I don't think people were loving that, but this year it seems like we're starting to get back to normal," Orr said.

Orr said the store will be closed for Thanksgiving Sunday and Monday, and also on Tuesday, saying his 10 employees deserve the extra day for a much-needed break.

"COVID's been running us over," he said. "Thank you everyone for the support."