Butcher to move into Denison's former Freddy's location

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
An artist rendering shows the planned exterior of a new butcher's shop in Denison. Developers for Heritage Butchery & Barbeque announced plans for convert the former Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers site into a new shop and restaurant.

A new butcher's shop and barbecue will soon call one of Denison's recently vacated restaurants home.

Representatives for Heritage Butchery & Barbeque announced plans Thursday to convert the former Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers location into a new butchery that will showcase the region's local offerings.

The butchery will offer products that were produced locally in the Texoma region including honey, eggs, cheese and seasonal produce. On the restaurant side, the butchery's barbecue, sausage and hamburgers will also be made from local ingredients that were sourced from producers with a focus on sustainability, General Manager Pete Gonzales said.

Beyond selling beef and other livestock, Gonzales said plans are in place to also offer limited processing services for deer during hunting season. He said this would be limited to one job at a time to ensure the quality of the product.

"When you walk into the butcher shop, you will look to your right and you will see the market," Gonzales said. "You will see the display cases, the guys in the cut room, the produce.

"Then, as you walk further into the restaurant, you will pick up on the barbecue side of it. You will see the block where they are slicing all the proteins. You will see the line where all the sides are. It is a good combination of both."

The idea for the butchery has been years in the making, said Gonzales, who had long wanted to make a butcher's shop that offered local products. From there, he met with  restaurant owners Brad and Stephanie Hammett, who helped bring those plans into reality.

“The concept for our shop began materializing in a quiet corner of a church lobby," Stephanie Hammett said in a news release. "Introduced by a mutual friend and local rancher, an experienced butcher with a heritage in the food industry and a physician with a particular fondness for butcher shops began dreaming about what they could build together for the Texoma community.” 

Gonzales said he and the Hammetts began to look around the region for a location but had difficulties finding a space that would meet their needs.

"We looked everywhere — we looked at Sherman, downtown, downtown Denison, we even looked at empty new development," he said.

The company that was assisting in the site selection generated a list of possible locations. At the bottom of the list was the former Freddy's site, which ultimately was chosen.

Gonzales said the site needs minimal repairs as it is still new construction. The largest change, aside from décor, will be the installation of a new cut room for the processing of meats, he said.

The Denison Development Alliance announced that it will be assisting the project financially through a micro-manufacturing grant. The DDA is offering incentives valued at $37,500 — about 15 percent of the expected project cost.

“From the beginning, we knew the Heritage concept was a great fit for the micro-manufacturing Incentive," DDA Chairman Brett Evans said. "This production facility and retail market will support local farmers and ranchers while also providing high quality farm-to-table choices for consumers in Grayson County and beyond."

Gonzales said he hopes to have the shop and restaurant open some time in late spring or early summer 2022.

Freddy's closed the doors of its Denison location just south of Walmart for the final time in September, leaving a vacant building behind on one of the city's major gateways. The restaurant opened its door and began offering its signature frozen treats just three years prior to its closure.