Joe’s Butcher Shop has been a staple in the city of Carmel for over a decade. During that time, community involvement has always been a priority, from supporting local charities, schools and especially being a location dedicated to hiring and mentoring local teens and young adults.
Since they opened their doors, Joe’s has seen so many great faces come through the door, work the counter and help around the shop. Many of them have gone on to great things, so we wanted to take the time to introduce you to some of these wonderful people – like Michael Cheng.
Michael was born and raised right here in Carmel, attending Carmel High School and playing on the lacrosse team. During the fall of his freshman year, he heard about the opportunity to work at Joe’s through a friend and applied alongside a couple of his other friends.
Michael was hired to help with Joe’s counter service and worked in the shop for the next three and a half years.
“I did just about everything but the actual butchering,” he said. “I did all the little things around the shop, running the counter, opening and closing the shop, cleaning and helping out customers.”
During his time at Joe’s, Michael said he learned a lot, not just from working in the shop but from Joe himself. Joe, having been blessed with the “gift of gab” as Michael said, imparted a lot of people skills on him and helped him better learn how to interact with customers and people in general.
That wasn’t the only thing Michael took from his time at Joe’s. He also said he developed a deep passion for food and cooking while working at the shop. The staff got the chance to “test” the food and meat in the shop (one of the many perks of working in the shop, according to Michael) in order to make better recommendations to customers.
“Joe wanted us to be as knowledgeable and helpful in making good recommendations to customers, so that meant trying out the food!”
He said working at Joe’s taught him other valuable skills like time management, juggling school, after school activities and his very first job. Michael also got a lot of support directly from Joe too, as a mentor.
“Joe spent a lot of time helping us be better in and out of the shop,” he said. “At school, I needed to come up with a business plan for a project and Joe helped me out, actually walking through what he had put together when he opened the shop! It was a really cool experience.”
Looking back on his time at Joe’s, Michael only has good memories, whether it was learning life lessons about work ethic or having fun with his friends and coworkers.
“I really can’t recommend Joe’s enough as a high school job,” he said. “I think staying in the community and mentoring young kids says a lot about Joe and the business. As a high schooler, it’s a lot to get into and there’s a lot to be learned and gained.
“But they are willing to take on the challenge, and that is a testament to the patience and dedication of Joe’s. It’s good for business and the community.”
Since leaving Joe’s, Michael went gone on to graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Biology. After a few years of living and working in Chicago, Michael now lives in Madison, Wisconsin working for an IT company.
Michael is just one of the many great folks that has come and gone through Joe’s Butcher Shop over the years. Hiring and mentoring local young adults continues to be a passion for Joe, so swing by the shop to learn more about opportunities for part-time jobs!