When Kena Manson graduated from the College of the Rockies culinary program she never imagined she would end up back in her hometown of Rock Creek running her own meat shop. With the retirement of local butcher John Solowy, however, and the resulting empty space that served as his shop for many years, Manson and fiance Kevin Dietrich saw an opportunity for both a business and a way for Manson to return to her roots.
Manson graduated from Boundary Central Secondary School in 2013 and headed to Cranbrook shortly thereafter, completing the culinary program at the local community college a year later.
“I really enjoyed the butcher component of the culinary program,” explained Manson, “and it taught me extensive knife skills, which inspired me to apply to the National Meat Training Center at Olds College in Alberta.”
Manson, the only female student, thrived in the program, graduating three months later with one of the highest grades in the class. The day following graduation, the center hired Manson to run the retail store, as well as to help instruct students on the slaughter and cutting floors. “I would likely have stayed at the college if this great business opportunity did not come up,” said Manson, “and it is very nice being home.”
One of K&K’s specialties is gourmet sausage, infused with fruit and spices, and Manson feels it’s important to make her products gluten-free. “Most families these days have at least one member who cannot include gluten in their diet,” said Manson, “and I want my products to be an option for everyone.” K&K meats goal is to source their meat locally and bring the finest that West Boundary has to offer to the plates of locals and visitors alike.
K&K Meats is located at 3615 Kettle Valley Rd. E. in Rock Creek.