When a side hustle becomes the family business: Family quits jobs to open Pine River butcher shop

Tony Styx holds a cut of meat from a buck.
Tony Styx quit a full-time job in construction to open a butcher shop in Pine River, Minn., with his brother. Here, Styx holds a long back-strap from a buck while processing the deer in a rural garage in late 2014.
John Enger | MPR News 2014

Cutting up deer in his brother's garage for $70 a piece was Tony Styx's side hustle last fall. He saw it as way to net some extra cash for Christmas presents.

But recently Styx made the side hustle his main hustle.

Tony, his brother Michael and their wives, Mary and Lois, quit their jobs this summer and bought the former Shamp's Meat Market in Pine River, Minn.

"It was actually pretty scary," Tony said. "We all had good jobs."

Now Styx is cutting meat in a full butcher shop with a cooler large enough to hang 100 deer at a time — or 40 hogs, or 20 cows — depending on the season.

The business opened last month under the new name Fresh Start Market. So far, Styx said, things are going well. He's working 70 hours a week, but said he doesn't mind.

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"I don't even feel tired at the end of the week," he said. "I feel great."

The Side Hustle

These stories are part of an occasional series on solo entrepreneurial ventures known as "side hustles."

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