Monday, July 16, 2012

Bill the Butcher is gonezo


Abandons Madison Valley location

Bill the Butcher, the Seattle-based "organic" meats purveyor, has decamped its Madison Valley store with a lot less fanfare than heralded its arrival there in April 2010. There was no press release from the Madison Valley Merchants Association on this one, so we were unaware that the Butcher was gone until we wandered by during the Bastille Bash on Saturday. This must be a fairly recent development, since the Company's website still lists  Madison Valley as one of its five stores (the others being in Laurelhurst, Woodinville, Redmond and Magnolia).

Bill the Butcher, which was founded in 2009, has had its share of recent troubles. A $4.5 million equity raising effort last summer was unsuccessful, and various media reports have tagged the Company as being "cash strapped." Last summer there was a very public falling out between company co-founder, William Von Schneidau, and his partner, J'Amy Owens, which resulted in the eponymous Bill leaving the Company. Or perhaps there was not a falling out, depending on which version of the story you believe. The resulting lawsuit, however, is a matter of public record.

In February, Bill the Butcher vacated its downtown Bellevue location after only 16 months at that site, and the Company's long-planned store in Edmonds has never opened. Though the tag-line in the window reads sustainable, that obviously didn't prove the case for the Madison Valley store, though whether it applies to the Company as a whole remains to be seen.

7 comments:

  1. If their sheer lack of customer service is anything to go by then this is of no surprise.

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  2. Glanced at the public records for the current lawsuit and there will be a judgement the first week of August. Just looking at the list of lawyers involved and I would say that bankruptcy is likely.

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  3. The bigger concern is who is regulating their product and in what condition is it in if they have been cutting corners for so long? Local retailers commented they hadn't been paying rent (rumor has it they made a "midnight move" after dodging rent for several months), business taxes ...or even their hard working employees whose checks were bouncing several times. looking forward to what replaces the store.

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  4. Per BtB:
    One of the many things we have learned in our first 3 years is the importance of parking; something our Madison Shop has always struggled with since it's opening. So while we love & value all the loyal customers & neighbors we have had in our 2 years at 2911 E. Madison St, we had to make the tough business decision to close our doors there.
    This decision will enable us to move forward more quickly with our location in Wallingford (at the corner of Stone Way N & N 47th St, next door to Zaw Artisan Pizza) where parking is plentiful. Look for announcement on that shortly, but our hope is early August.

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  5. Desperation makes you wonder about the quality of the products BTB puts out. If not paying suppliers, rent, employees, and state taxes are decisions they make to cut corners, what else are they doing behind the scenes. Ugh...

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  6. They had an eviction notice on their door from the sherrifs office along with court documents.

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  7. Yeah, I'm glad I don't work there anymore. I was supposedly "fired" for "being late" despite no record of being late and 0 communication from the madison branch manager, their HR coordinator, or anyone else for that matter. I was simply told "call ____ for your new schedule, we're moving you to another branch" while a report of my termination was filed internally.

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