By Sue Moore
Scott and Sheryl Oswalt and their business partners, Rob and Beth Russell, have signed a management agreement with John Fink to run Fink’s Butcher Shoppe and Deli store on the corner of Highway Street and South Davis Street near Vicksburg High pending a sale. Fink’s last day on the job will be September 30.
Once the transfer of the beer and wine license is approved, the sale will be completed and the name will be changed. The new name? The Dawg House. The new team plans to keep the current menu: Fink’s famous fried chicken, home-made subs and salads along with the popular daily lunch specials and 16 flavors of ice cream.
Oswalt Family Farms has a large livestock operation in Brady Township; Scott and Sheryl are part of the farming operation, so it’s natural that the Oswalts will see that their new endeavor remains a butcher shop. They hope to bring more Oswalt beef and lamb to both the freezer and the deli counter. Rob Russell and Sheryl Oswalt started working in the store on May 22 and have been learning the business from Fink and his seasoned staff of six full and part-time personnel.
The pair worked together at Farm Depot when she first moved to Vicksburg in 2014. “Everybody liked Rob. He had a great attitude, he worked hard and got along good with the customers, so when we were thinking about buying the store, our natural inclination was to partner with someone of Rob’s caliber.” Rob and Beth moved to Vicksburg from Mattawan in 2001 and have two children in the school system. They expect to complement one another’s skill set as Oswalt knows her way around bookkeeping, accounting and loves to cook, although Rob Russell does most of the cooking now at the store.
Fink’s Butcher Shoppe & Deli specialized in meat and had a well-known lunch counter and catering business. “We hope to add some variety to the lunch offerings with home cooking as that’s the best,” Russell said. They intend to change the name of the store once they are cleared for ownership. But it will still be the home of Fink’s famous fried chicken.
Their lunch menu serves up pork chops on Monday, steak tips on Tuesday, beef and noodles on Wednesday, chicken and biscuits on Thursday, fish and chips on Friday. Russell plans to change up the second menu item for each weekday with specials he creates from scratch.
“We will keep adding more things and not take away anything that has brought the store success,” Oswalt said. “We’ll try some seasonal beers but our regulars know what they want and Fink’s has been carrying these choices right along. We might even try a ‘pop’ collection of sodas with different flavors of root beer. We’ll want to expand the offerings, just as long as they don’t start collecting dust on the shelf,” Russell said with a chuckle.