A little bit about Kostas Meat Market.
Kostas Meat Market was established in 1993 by Kostas Margaronis. Since then, with the help of his son Steve Margaronis, the business has expanded to offer its customers quality meats and a variety of imported goods.
“My father told me two things: be honest and be straight. You lie to the people, you lie to yourself. You steal from the people, you steal from yourself.” For the past 26 years, Kostas Margaronis has been operating his meat market under this motto.
Margaronis, 57, moved to Canada from Greece when he was 16 years old. He always wanted to be a butcher, and in 1988, he opened up a shop of his own. He was very successful - so much so, that the landlord of his building wanted the business for himself. In 1993, Margaronis was forced to move out of Greek town when the landlord would not renew his lease. Margaronis says his friends on the Danforth thought his new business in Scarborough wouldn’t last six months. “I told them, I said, ‘anyone who wants to make a bet can make a bet - in one year time I’ll make more money on a Saturday than you guys do all week.’ Nobody would believe me.” Kostas Meat Market’s fluorescent blue and white sign has been lighting up Ellesmere Road for the past 21 years. “I have more clients now than I did on the Danforth.”
The store is open seven days a week and Margaronis is always there. His day starts at 5:30 a.m. When he gets to the store, he takes care of bills, phones the slaughterhouse, fixes up the counter and coolers, and checks inventory. The store is open for business from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. “You have to put in a lot of time to make a business like this.” During Easter and Christmas, the busiest times of the year, Margaronis puts in 21 hour work days.
Kostas Margaronis says the quality of his products is what keeps his customers coming back. “You can give them something cheap and they might enjoy it when they buy it, but they have to enjoy it when they eat it.” He says that it all comes down to honesty and trust when dealing with customers. “Customers ask, ‘Kosta, is this a good piece?’. . . I obviously mean a lot to them for them to ask. If I tell them that the piece is good, they will buy it. They won’t ask again. . . If you lose the customer’s trust, you are finished in this business.”
All of Margaronis’ customers know him on a first-name basis. “Someone tried to call me Mr. Kosta and I said, ‘You know what? If you call me Mr. Kosta, don’t walk in my store again,” he says laughing. He never lets a customer leave without a smile. “We feel like this is our home, this is our store. My customers are my friends.” He has thrown customer appreciation barbecues for the past 20 years. “When I see a thousand customers pass by in one day, it makes me feel good.”
Margaronis, a proud father of three, hopes to pass down the business to his kids and help them expand the store. His advice to his kids? “I’ll tell them two things: to be honest, and to be straight. You lie to the people, you lie to yourself. You steal from the people, you steal from yourself. And that’s it.”
Fresh quality meats.
Best souvlaki in the city.
Homemade Tzatziki, Taramosalata, Tyrokafteri, Humus, Babaganoush.
Imported goods from Greece.