Mill Street Meat Market celebrates a decade of deliciousness

Off the beaten track, but worth the stop

WOLFEBORO — The Mill Street Meat Market, a favorite among locals and seasonal visitors alike, celebrates 11 years in business this summer with an expanded product line, a full array of premium beef, lamb and pork – and seafood including live lobsters for sale.

Market founder and owner Ryan Crowder launched the combination butcher shop and specialty foods store, located at 67 Mill Street, in April 2007 after perceiving a market in the local area for a quality butcher shop. He had gained his knowledge of the meat and food services business from other butchers and at his parent’s Wendy’s Restaurant franchise in southern New Hampshire. Growing up in the Nashua, he frequently shopped at the Brazilian butcher shops in the area. Those specialty shops inspired Crowder to open his own shop and, ultimately, he chose to locate it in Wolfeboro, where Crowder has summered with his family since he was a boy.

“I practically grew up here – I love this place, absolutely,” he said in a recent interview at the shop, where top quality meats and seafood chilled under spotless display cases. After conducting a market study and writing a business plan, he purchased the building at 67 Mill Street, where he then established the shop at street level and saved a bundle in living expenses by moving into the upstairs apartment with his wife, Andreza. Living upstairs from the shop also allowed Crowder to put in the extensive amount of time required to launch and grow the business.

“I was able to work a lot, pretty much around the clock, for the first half year,” he said.

Start-up funding

For a portion of his start-up funding, he turned to the Wolfeboro-based Wentworth Economic Development Corp. [WEDCO], a private nonprofit regional development agency whose mission is to promote and support businesses and the creation of employment opportunities by providing development assistance and financing.

“I wouldn’t be here without them,” said Crowder of the assistance WEDCO provided. Once the summer season kicks in the shop will employ 11 workers, all trained to provide a high level of customer service. Four employees work year round.

“WEDCO was awesome. They matched the SBA’s [Small Business Administration] loan terms and were instrumental in getting the initial funding to get this going, and then I used them periodically for other endeavors such as the shop in Wakefield. I would not have been able to do that without their help,” said Crowder.

Growing local business and the jobs that come with that growth is what WEDCO is all about. Celebrating a 10-year success story with the Mill Street Meat Market is WEDCO Executive Director Denise Roy-Palmer.

“WEDCO takes great pride in recognizing the success of its clients and all of the various initiatives we participate in all to the benefit of stimulating economic development in the region,” said Roy-Palmer.

WEDCO provides financing for business and real estate acquisitions, machinery and equipment, working capital, gap financing, renovations and construction and other qualified uses. Its service area includes Brookfield, Effingham, Farmington, Milton, Middleton, Moultonborough, New Durham, Sandwich, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro.

Variety is the spice of life

Over the years, the shop’s product line has expanded beyond premium meats to include a range of seafood, a live lobster tank, selection of wines, condiments, infused olive oils and vinegars, and other specialty items – enough of a variety within the store for one-stop shopping for an at home meal or barbecue. Top sellers at the Mill Street Meat Market include steak tips and chicken in a variety of marinades. “Marinades are the lifeblood of the shop,” he added. Many of his products are locally sourced and from farms throughout the Northeast.

The market’s location offers ample parking, an advantage to not being located downtown, especially during the summer, noted Crowder.

“People know they don’t have to go through downtown – they can pull up, park, shop and go.” The Mill Street Market building includes another unit, once occupied by a local bakery that has since moved into a larger space. The space is available for rental. This season, Crowder decided against reopening the seasonal annex shop in Sanbornville, but he anticipates another busy season in Wolfeboro. In the decade since first opening his doors, Crowder’s family has grown as well. He and Andreza are the proud parents of two young boys, Sam, age 9, and Vincent, age 3.

His marketing plan includes local signage, radio, TV and newspaper ads, as well as a commitment to community support and service with gift card donations for benefit auctions and the like. “We support many charities and schools — we’re giving money and gift cards back to the community. I think that is key, especially in a small town.”

Aside from stocking delectable edibles, the shop sells t-shirts with fun slogans such as, “We Meat Your Expectations,” and “All About the Meat.”

The Mill Street Meat Market, located at 67 Mill Street off Main Street in downtown Wolfeboro, is open every day: hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call the market at 569-0022. Visit the Facebook page at

For more information on business financing, contact WEDCO at 569-4216 or via email at WEDCO is a private nonprofit 501c(3) regional economic development corporation serving businesses of all sizes in the New Hampshire towns of Brookfield, Effingham, Farmington, Milton, Middleton, Moultonborough, New Durham, Sandwich, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, Wolfeboro, etc. Contact Denise Roy-Palmer at 603-569-4216, visit or send an email to WEDCO’s office hours are Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday and Fridays by appointment only. WEDCO is also on Facebook: