Terry Timm reflects on 45 years at Rochester’s Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe

Terry Timm has spent all his working life in food retail but he is best known as the friendly neighborhood butcher at Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe.

Terry Timm back at Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe to visit with his old employees on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Rochester.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe is going through a transition period.

Terry Timm, who owned the butcher shop at 902 Seventh St. NW, retired in November after 45 years, starting as a butcher in 1977 then taking over as owner in 1998.

Much has changed in the Rochester butcher shop scene since Timm’s beginning in 1977 to what it has become now.

“It was a small group when we started, and we were a part of Rochester Meats,” Timm said. “Back in the beginning, the butcher shop was a little, itty bitty business right in that corner of the Rochester Meat building, but it was a good fit, because they had everything that they needed there to actually sell to the public.”

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe spent its first 13 to 14 years in the Rochester Meat building and moved to its current location around 1987 and 1988, Timm said. The move made it the neighborhood butcher shop of Rochester.


While the store sold meats, Timm's reputation as the friendly neighborhood butcher helped bring the customers back.

“I just had a customer, Melvin Hicks, he was in just about a month or so ago to say hello. We became friends, way back when I first started 45 years ago, for whatever reason, the guy kind of liked me,” Timm said. “To think back about how many people I've met, how many people have become friends and customers over the years, it's really a cool deal and, obviously, I'm gonna miss that part.”

Around the start of 2021, Timm saw the opportunity to retire on the horizon and began meeting with a business broker to figure out what would be next for the business where he'd spent most of his life. Timm admits he didn’t know the right way to go about selling Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe at first, but with help from people at Rochester Community and Technical College, he was able to get on the right track.

“It's been a long process. We put the business up for sale about a year ago this time, and I was told by the individual at the college that it may take two or three years to sell."

A big part of what made the same happen was Teamshares , a company that helps facilitate employee ownership of small businesses. Since launching in 2019, the company has helped more than 75 small businesses transition to employee ownership after a former owner has decided to sell or retire.

"Teamshares spotted us and it sounded like a very positive thing and it really felt like a great match to sell the business to,” Timm said.

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe
NY Strip Steaks are weighed out on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Part of that transition through Teamshares is to pick a new company president for the business. Dylan Passe is the designated president for Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe for Teamshares.

“Our focus is employee ownership,” said Madhuri Kommareddi, an officer with Teamshares. “We're not just buying companies in one industry or another, our focus is really to make employee ownership the future of small business in America. And for some former owners like Terry, that's really appealing.”


Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe
Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Timm is confident that having Teamshares involved to turn Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe into an employee-owned business will keep the business going strong for years to come.

“It's an awkward feeling to not be an owner and not be involved. But I think that things certainly look good to me with what I’m leaving behind,” Timm said.

What Timm will miss the most is people like Hicks and so many others who came to know him over the years as Rochester’s neighborhood butcher, harkening back to a time in America when the neighborhood butcher was a friend to any who came in the door.

Even as Timm has begun to enjoy retirement, he and his wife still make the trips from Kellogg to Rochester on the occasion to check in on these old friends and keep the great relationships going on as long as they can.

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe
Coolers are stocked on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe

902 Seventh St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901.

507 282-5908.

Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or
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