Well-Done: Kincaid’s Meat Market
Kincaid’s Meat Market Nearing 100th Anniversary In Indy
Photographer / Ellie Sophia Photography
When Joe and Jonathan Dugdale purchased Kincaid’s Meat Market on North Illinois Street in December of 2015, they were well aware that they were taking on more than just a run-of-the-mill butcher shop. They knew they were taking on a legacy.
Having worked at Kincaid’s since their respective high school years, Joe and Jonathan became familiar with the shop early on and grew to appreciate the business’s unique atmosphere and the owners’ treatment of customers.
“Kincaid’s opened in 1921, and the owners nurtured it as a customer-oriented butcher shop for all these decades and decades,” says Joe, whose family is originally from Central Indiana.
The brothers began working part-time at Kincaid’s Meat Market as a result of their own family wholesale meat distributing business founded in the 1970s, Dugdale Beef Company, and its direct business relationship with Kincaid’s.
“The Rollins family, who owned Kincaid’s as a retail store back when my brother and I started working there, were always buying products from our family business,” Joe explains. “Kincaid’s Meat Market was Dugdale Beef Company’s first customer. My grandfather and (former Kincaid’s owner) David Rollins’ father Harry knew each other from being in the cattle business.”
Jonathan and Joe graduated from high school in 2002 and 2005 respectively, and even through their ensuing college years, they spent time working at Kincaid’s. After obtaining his degree in 2010, Joe continued to get familiar with both the operational side of the business and the many loyal customers Kincaid’s attracted through the decades.
Eventually, Joe noticed that customers began to seek out he and his brother, in addition to the previous owners, for assistance. Joe says this was the perfect indication that taking over as owners might make sense for the brothers.
“Since starting to work at Kincaid’s in high school, we got a fundamental understanding of what the products at the store meant to the people of this community,” Joe says. “With growing up seeing our family business too, I had started to know the connection people have with their food, but I really understood that when I came to work at Kincaid’s. Everybody at the business has always tried to give the best ingredients for the best type of dish.”
The Dugdales officially purchased Kincaid’s Meat Market in December of 2015, and Joe says the decision was ultimately a no-brainer for the brothers.
“The old owners were getting up in years and saw two brothers who are inspired, energetic and knowledgeable after being immersed in the business for quite some time,” he says. “They didn’t have kids interested in taking over, so it made sense for us to come in. By the time the transition happened, no one even really saw it as a transition because we were kind of the face of the company already at that point.”
As a full-service butcher shop, Kincaid’s currently offers cuts of beef, lamp, pork, chicken, turkey, ham and more. The staff throws an annual customer appreciation cookout, typically on the Thursday before the Fourth of July, and Joe says next year’s cookout will be a particularly special occasion to mark Kincaid’s 100th anniversary.
“The cookout tends to bring the community together a little bit – we throw a bunch of grills out and start giving food away,” Joe says. “We don’t usually advertise for it much because it’s for customer appreciation, but customers will usually hear about it around the store for about a month. Our celebration for the 100th will probably be woven into the cookout with a raffle. When the ball drops for 2021 we’ll be having constant reminders that the place is 100 years old.”
Joe is quick to credit Shawn Kelley, general manager at Kincaid’s, for helping to maintain the high level of quality the store has been known for for so long.
“Shawn is the most tenured person here, and he taught me everything I know essentially,” Joe says. “I say I’m in charge but Shawn’s really in charge.”
On November 18 of last year, Joe and Jonathan officially opened a second Kincaid’s location at The Yard at Fishers District, and Joe says opening a second location stemmed from the realization that his staff at the original location included several members fully capable of training a new crew.
Kincaid’s Fishers was the second business to open at The Yard after Rize restaurant last fall. Jonathan now handles most of the daily operations in Fishers, while Joe oversees the original North Illinois Street shop.
“Expanding gave us the opportunity to make the foundational store that much better,” Joe says. “With two stores to split things between, we can continually flesh out new ideas and make things even newer. And if there’s something we don’t have at the original store, now we’re half an hour away from having it from the second store.”
Joe and Jonathan have no plans to change what has made Kincaid’s a success for nearly 100 years, and they value each and every client, old and new, who walks into the door at one of their shops.
“When you’re standing in an almost 100-year operation, if you don’t understand the historical value of the building you’re in, you’ll eventually dissolve into nothingness,” Joe says. “It will be obvious to the people who are supporting you that you don’t have that understanding. A lot of the shoppers here are elderly and third-generation shoppers, and if they were to sense that something had changed with the owners’ familiarity with the business and the history here, they wouldn’t come.”
Kincaid’s Meat Market is located at 5605 North Illinois Street in Indianapolis. Hours of operation are Mon. through Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional info including product details, call 317-255-5497 and visit kincaidsmeatmarket.com.