A tasty way to start the Christmas season

Starting Nov. 20, M&M Meats in Penticton is going to be serving up some tasty treats.

Gail Thompson of the Penticton M&M Meat Shops location dishes up a sampling of one of the store's specialties for customer Germaine Helie. M&M will be having its annual customer appreciation event .

Starting Nov. 20, M&M Meats in Penticton is going to be serving up some tasty treats.

Gail Thompson said the annual open house at M&M Meats has been going on as long as she can remember, probably back to when owner Frank Kaufman opened the shop on Skaha Lake Road 16 years ago.

“This open house event is the biggest thing we do all year, because it is the official kickoff to Christmas season,” said Thompson, who adds that this is one of her favourite events of the year.

“I think it is fantastic, it is the best thing ever. I look forward to this week and I am here the whole week,” she said. “It is always a good time.”

Ostensibly, the reason for the open house is to showcase the store’s new offerings — and old — for the upcoming party season, but Thompson said she just enjoys watching the customers as they sample savoury treats.

“I love the look on customers faces,” she said, adding that the feedback is important to the staff as they prepare to advise customers on what they need for the upcoming Christmas party season, noting that they have all received training as expert meal advisors.

“Any of us can help you figure out what  you need for your party, for your guests,” said Thompson. “We are really good at what we do, at picking out what people will need and putting programs together for them. You can pretty much guarantee that everybody who goes to a party in this town is going to have M&M somewhere.”

Thompson said they will have steamers, crockpots and the ovens going from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. all through the open house week, and adds she goes all out to make this an event, with generous portions on the sample trays.

“How do you get the taste of something unless you get a bite?” asked Thompson. “It is always a good time. It is usually lined up in here for both counter and for the food.”

The menu changes from day to day, but Thompson said there will be old favourites, like the sausage rolls, mini quiche and their spinach artichoke dips. Customers will also be able to try out new products like an assortment of flatbreads, battered veggies or fried dill pickles.

“We start out with something kind of breakfasty and work our way up. Kind of add the heat to it, so if we are going to go with spicy that day, then that is in the afternoon, but always with a sweet treat afterwards,” said Thompson. That “sweet treat” might be pumpkin cheesecake and, she add, if you are lucky, some gingerbread ice cream.

The open house starts Nov. 20 and runs to the following Friday.