The Butcher, The Baker & The Candle Maker

Local Makers Illustrate Artistry in Their Craft

Article by Stephanie Hasbrouck

Photography by Blackall Photography, Kate Marie Portraiture, Robert Ray Photography

Originally published in Cross Timbers Lifestyle

The Knowles Family

Old Town Market

Shawn and Sharon Knowles opened Old Town Market in Double Oak this past year, but the butcher shop has been a fixture in the community for many years.

“Old Town Market was established in May 1977 by Bob Knowles and Dickie Grant,” Sharon says. Back then, the business was located in Lewisville, where it remained for 42 years.

“Shawn worked after school cleaning and sweeping the floors. Over the years, working with Bob and Dickie, Shawn learned the true artistry of butchering and acquired his hard-working skills and knowledge of the meat business,” Sharon says.

In 2009, Shawn and Sharon purchased the business, and this past July relocated it to its new site on Chinn Chapel Road. Old Town Market employs four full-time butchers, including Shawn, who was awarded “Best Butcher” for the North Texas Region in 2016 by the Texas Beef Council.

Though she isn’t a butcher, Sharon helps run the business with her husband. Customers appreciate the care and quality put into every cut of meat offered at their market.

“Butchering is a lost art,” Sharon says. “A majority of the grocery/big box stores do not know how to break down the carcass of an animal.”

She says Old Town Market’s traditional style of cutting and quality of meats set it apart from other stores. In addition to prime cuts of meat, Old Town Market sells more than 20 varieties of sausage and even will prepare custom sausages for those who bring in their own seasonings.

For those looking for already-prepared meats, Old Town Market offers catering, as well. “The most popular items are brisket, sausage, barbecue, bologna, cowboy beans and potato salad,” Sharon says.

For more information about Old Town Market, visit OldTownMeatMarket.com

Cara Vasquez

The Flour Shop

Cara Vasquez has been baking for nearly two decades. Nine years ago, she decided to open her bakery, The Flour Shop, and since that time, has become an important part of the Flower Mound/Highland Village area.

Cara says her mother inspired her to become a baker.

“The suggestion of culinary school came from my mom. She’s also the one who first taught me how to bake. I knew in culinary school that I wanted to open my own bakery one day.”

Cara originally opened The Flour Shop in The Shops at Highland Village in 2011 and moved to her current location on Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound in 2017. The Flour Shop offers a long list of dreamy desserts, including pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, bars, éclairs, cream puffs, cheesecakes … “The list goes on!” Cara says.  “We also offer events for both kids and adults, birthday parties and catering.”

Whether she’s constructing a lovely layer cake or rolling out cookie dough, Cara says she is most content when she is baking.  “The kitchen is my happy place and where I’m most relaxed and comfortable. It just makes me happy,” she says. “After 19 years, I still genuinely love to bake.”

She says she enjoys both the preciseness and the freedom of baking.

“I enjoy experimenting with different flavor and texture combinations.

“I’ve never considered myself an artist, but I suppose I am,” she says. “There is an art to putting flavors together and creating new baked goods. People eat with their eyes first, so we work to create food with visual appeal that also tastes delicious.”

For more information about The Flour Shop, visit TheFlour.Shop.

Justin Warnack

Denovo Candle Co.

Justin Warnack and his wife Casey of Denton began Denovo Candle Co. in 2017 after making candles as gifts for family and friends the previous Christmas.

“What started as a unique gift idea transitioned into a business idea after we received positive feedback,” Justin says.

Justin is no stranger to candle making. “My father had a candle shop in Old Town Lewisville growing up, and I spent the majority of my weekends and summers making and selling candles alongside my family,” he says. “After starting Denovo, we now are teaching our kids not only how to make the candles, but also the financial side of the business. We are appreciative for the opportunity to teach them the craft and to have them involved in building a business from the ground up.”

The couple sell their products online and at many local craft shows.

“We also collaborate with other businesses to develop their own unique private label candle lines. Among these partners are Main Street Mercantile, Roanoke and Denton Trading Company, Baskets by Frankie Lynn and A Touch of Muck,” Justin says.

Each candle is hand-poured with 100% soy wax and premium fragrance oils to maximize their scent. Denovo also offers melts, which can be used as alternatives to candles in areas where an open flame is not desirable, Justin says.

Each Denovo candle is poured, cooled, cured and topped with the company’s signature wooden lid. The process takes time, but attention to detail is part of the artistry of candle making, Justin says.

“The patience it takes to create a candle is something that seems to get overlooked sometimes by makers themselves,” he says. “From testing to pouring and finally the curing process, patience is required to make a good candle.”

For more information on Denovo Candle Co., visit DenovoCandle.com. A percentage of all net proceeds from Denovo Candle Co. are donated to local animal rescue charities.

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