After months of speculation, The Wine’ing Butcher finally welcomed customers to its newest store St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Ashburn.
“This project has definitely taken a long time,” said owner Andrew Arguin. “We had hoped to open almost a year ago.”
Ashburn’s newest neighborhood gourmet market hopes people find the destination worth the wait and make it a daily stop.
The 4,200-square-foot store on Ashburn Road offers fresh produce, wines, microbrews, cheese, breads, pastries, fresh seafood, meats, marinated meat, deli sandwiches, prepared foods, gelato and much more.
The prepared foods and pastries are made on site. There is even a huge wood-burning oven where they make fresh pizza and bistro seating for customers who want to stay and dine.
How the Wine’ing Butcher Came to Ashburn
Arguin did not start out working in the butcher-retail business. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he was recruited to work as an engineer at a company in Vermont. In 2005, he and his wife, Gretchen Lustenberger, who worked in the dental field, were living in New Hampshire.
One day, Lustenberger took her husband to see a local butcher market called Mr. Steer Marketplace in Londonderry, NH.
As Arguin describes, walking into the shop was one of those “wow” moments when he realized he couldn’t believe they still made places like this sort of neighborhood butcher shop. At that point, he knew what he wanted to do.
“I want to bring back the concept of the neighborhood market and butcher shop,” he said.
He talked to his wife about the idea of combining a wine and cheese store with a butcher shop. Ten months later, the dream became a reality.
Arguin spoke with the owners of Mr. Steers Market, and even worked there for ten months to learn the business. In the process, he continued to work his corporate job as he made plans to open The Wine’ing Butcher in Ashburn.
Arguin said the basis of many of their core products were learned at Mr. Steers.
“What defines us at the Wine-ing Butcher is the core product of marinated meats,” Arguin said.
The husband and wife team opened two stores in New Hampshire, first in Guilford in July 2006 and then in Meredith in April 2009.
“We have found that prepared foods is something everyone is looking for,” Arguin said.
The couple was eager to grow the business, but wanted to choose their next location carefully, Arguin said. They looked “at all the hot spots” around the country, finally settling on Loudoun County because of its “great demographics.”
“There is so much room to grow,” Arguin said.
He figures opening the store in Ashburn now allows for a significant amount of growth during the next ten years.
So the whole family, including daughters Addyson, 3 and Greta, 1, moved to Ashburn, which they are ready to call home.
How The Wine’ing Butcher Defines Itself
“Our philosophy is simple,” Arguin said. “We have the best products, great quality, taste and price.”
Some of the products are local, some are imported, but Arguin feels that it is important to find the products that are the best on the market.
“We hope to separate ourselves from the big boys,” he said. “We try to find smaller vineyards, great wines blended by a person not a machine, so they have character.”
One thing Arguin recently discovered is that genetics may have led him to the industry. Arguin’s mother did some digging and found that his great-grandfather used to own a butcher shop on Cape Cod, MA. Perhaps it was in his blood and he didn’t even know it.
The Wine’ing Butcher, 20915 Ashburn Road plans to hold a grand opening celebration in the future.
The store is open seven days a week: Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m - 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.