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Family business harvests own cattle, supports local foods

For the Belleville family, keeping their meat shop in the family is important.

Belleville Market opened in 1912 and the fourth generation of the Belleville family is currently working at the shop.

Mike Belleville, a partner of the business, said when they opened the shop some of the family moved into the city while some stayed on the farm.

“Originally our family were farmers and the meat business was just part of that type of operation,” Mike said.

The shop has been family-run from the beginning.

Currently at the shop they have four full time family members working, and one family member working part time, said Ivan Belleville, Mike’s son and the manager of the North Baltimore Wing.

The meat sold in the shop is either raised by the Belleville family or raised locally, Mike said.

“The beef we raise ourselves, the pork we have a grower who grows pork for us in Hancock County,” he said.

As well as selling meats in the store, they also carry canned goods, popcorn, eggs and milk.

Mike said they try to keep everything in the shop local, or what he likes to call “low mileage products.”

Graduate student Amber Garrabrant likes that Belleville Market produces their own meats, and buys locally grown food.

“I personally like locally grown things,” Garrabrant said. “It’s usually less processed.”

Graduate student Sarah Sano said supporting the community is something that should be done.

“Supporting the people around you is really important, so buying locally grown [food] is important,” Sano said.

Belleville Market has a location in Bowling Green and they have a harvesting facility in North Baltimore.

“We’ve been based out of Bowling Green since opening and we purchased the North Baltimore location 13 or 14 years ago,” Ivan said.

At the harvesting location they receive the cattle,and then process them to be sold in the shops.

Belleville Market has quite a few professors who come in and buy meats as well as quite a few students who live off campus, Mike said.

Mike said his favorite part about working is seeing customer’s reactions to their products.

“I love dealing with people and giving them good wholesome products,” Mike said. “I like to see the smile on people’s faces when they come back and tell me how good it was.”

Ivan said it isn’t so much the business that he loves as it is facing the problems that happen.

“I like doing the employee relations, customer relations; the regulatory side of things,” Ivan said. “It isn’t necessarily something I enjoy, but I look at it as a challenge.”

There are currently no set plans for the future, except for continuing what they currently do.

“We take it day-by-day,” Ivan said.

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