The Butchers Scam on BuyTopia, WebPiggy.. Additives in meat

The Butchers “Organic and Naturally raised meats shop” has sold over 15,000 coupons in Toronto for approximately $175 each worth of meat at the cost of $55. It is over $2.6 million dollars worth of meat. If we take an average price of the most selling meats by The Butchers as $30 per kilogram (chicken, ground beef, etc…), we get about 90 tons of “organic and naturally raised” meat. For a really small shop! Everyone can speculate about these numbers and conclude that it is not possible to meet this huge demand without dramatic decrease in quality of meats and service.

The Butchers shop has been featured by Webpiggy, Dealgetters, DealFind, Dealticker, TeamSave, BuyTopia daily deals websites (did I miss anyone?). There were a lot of complaints on service, products and prices at The Butchers after the major offer on DealFind. It turns to be a scam at some discussion forums. They simply can not handle all the customers. They significantly reduced working hours, assortment, quality, etc. The only thing they should care about now is to service all customers with already purchased coupons because The Butchers has real problems with it (actually vice versa – many customers have problems with The Butchers). But! What do they do instead?

They are offering another deal on WebPiggy again:

$100 for $400 worth of organic and naturally raised meat from The Butchers, inclusive of a $50 credit to the opening of Marlin’s Fish Shop. Don’t miss The Butchers 10th Anniversary, Deal of the Century!

It is running through the weekend (April 8 – 10) and 1600 already bought the deal. I think they just need more cash to purchase more meat from some cheap place. I don’t see another explanation.

Well.. There were only speculations before in this post.

Now Trueler provides real proofs of how “Organic and Naturally raised” the meat from The Butchers is and what it actually worth.

Most of the products purchased with one of the coupons at The Butchers in the beginning of April 2011 were of bad quality. I have prepared and described facts about sausages bought at The Butchers. They definitely do not worth $10.99/pound (or $24.40/kg). Probably $1.99/pound is a fair price for them (I’m not sure what is the exact percentage of starch and carrageenan they have added to the sausages).

Let’s see what “Organic and Naturally raised” sausages from The Butchers represent.

The Butchers - Sausages in bag

After thawing of frosted sausages there were about 50ml of water in the plastic bag per 1 lb of meat. It is over 10%. Here is a picture:

The Butchers - Water in sausages

The consistence of sausages were very suspicious to be claimed as “Organic and Naturally raised”:

The Butchers - Sausage consistence

It looks like a sponge which is a sure sign of starch presence in the meat. I used Iodine Test to show everyone that sausages from The Butchers contain a lot of starch. Iodine reacts with starch to produce purple black color or blue black color (depending on how much of starch is present in the product). I’ve written a letter “S” by Iodine on the cut of sausage and it turned purple black:

The Butchers - Starch iodine reaction with meat

It means that there is a lot of starch in those sausages. Here is a comparison to understand the reaction. Potato contains starch and pear does not:

The Butchers - Starch Iodine reaction with sausage, potato and pear

Iodine written “S” remained brown on a piece of pear. Iodine reacted with starch contained in potato and “Organic and Naturally raised” sausages from The Butchers.

Is the starch used by The Butchers organic and naturally raised? It could be. But it also could be a modified corn starch or even something less natural. I don’t know.

But sausages with significant amount of starch definitely do not worth $24/kg (or $10.99/lb)! It is like cheap prepacked sausages from the nearest supermarket.

Let’s try to cook them!

The Butchers - Let's cook

I have never seen good barbecue sausages exploding when cooking…

It is because of natural sausage casing which does not crack.

The Butchers - Cooking 1

Sausages from The Butchers started to crack quite soon:

The Butchers - Cooking 2

Then sausages exploded!

The Butchers - Cooking 3

This definitely means that sausage casings are artificial and NOT natural.

Meantime Iodine almost evaporated from the pear without reaction, but left its footprint on the sausage made from starch:

The Butchers - Starch reaction after time passed

After cooling sausages significantly shrinked:

The Butchers - Shrinked sausages

Inflation of sausages in the oven, shrinking when cooled, excess water – all of these is a sure sign of carrageenan (E407 food additive) in the meat. It is used in the food industry to increase or even double the weight of meat. Carrageenan may cause allergic reactions for some people.


Scented sausages with preservatives from The Butchers

(update as of April 11)

I left piece of UNCOOKED sausage out of the fridge at a room temperature for about two days.

It did not spoil at all! It has absolutely the same smell as it had two days ago. Natural meat should spoil in a warm place very quickly. However sausages from The Butchers kept their scent which is most likely artificial. Unfortunately I can’t post and share the smell here, but it is absolutely the same as two days ago. It definitely means that at least preservatives have been added to the meat being claimed by The Butchers as “Organic and Naturally raised”. It is a sure sign of artificial flavor added as well. Or has the meat been raised with antibiotics?

This is just one example of bad quality products from The Butchers. For other products and services I have not prepared a visual demonstration, but can add the following:

  • Beef had almost the worst quality I have ever tried. It was sinewy and hard (cooked well as usual)
  • Poor choice in the store on weekend at around noon
  • No receipt provided!

It looks like a million dollars scam with current unfair support from WebPiggy who manipulates with comments on their discussion board by removing valuable truthful posts from the customers in order to conceal information about The Butchers and promote the scam.

Too many unnatural things are happening at The Butchers, don’t you think so?


The “Last and Final” deal from The Butchers?!!

(April 12, 2011)

Unbelievable! Now on Buytopia with the “Final Deal“:

$99 for $400 Worth of Organically and Naturally Raised Meats from The Butchers – LAST DEAL FROM THE BUTCHERS

Is it really final? I hope this scam will end soon… Will anyone buy this deal from after all things happened with previous deals from The Butchers on other daily deal websites?


Update: We have a report from one of the customers:

Where do The Butchers “Organic meats” come from?


One more “Last Deal” at DealTicker

(April 15)

“The Butchers” deal on DealTicker with the same $99 for $400 deal. One more last deal?! Let me guess… Next one will be on…

$99 for $400 worth of Organic and Naturally Raised Meats and More from The Butchers (includes a $50 credit to use at soon to be launched Marlon’s Fish store) ($400 Value)




The Butchers website states that the deal on DealTicker is NOT valid!


However DealTicker still states the opposite and encouraging to buy more and more coupons:


What the heck is going on?! Just another promotion?

Here is the answer from DealTicker who sent an e-mail to subscribers very late:

It has come to our attention that The Butchers are turning away customers and refusing to honour vouchers purchased through our site.

This action has been taken unilaterally by The Butchers without consultation with or prior warning to DealTicker.

As a result of this conduct, we are obliged to discontinue this deal. We are currently in consultations with our legal team and are considering all legal remedies available against The Butchers.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience the actions of The Butchers may have caused.

DealTicker was knowingly running the not valid deal for almost entire day looking for profit. Moreover, they solely blame The Butchers for this. This is the worst thing the daily deals company could do. They wanted to sell thousands of deals in five days making tens or hundreds thousand dollar profit regardless of all the negative experience about redeeming earlier coupons shared in the Internet by coupons holders. Unfortunately DealTicker let their users down.


The article in The Globe and Mail

You may find the original article here:

Ninety-nine bucks for $400 worth of organic meat. Seriously?

written by Tim Kiladze for Saturday’s Globe and Mail.


Several interesting things in the writing caught my attention and I’d like to comment on them:


1. Looks like The Butchers is very short on cash now, so they asked daily deal companies for a quicker payment plan.



2. Marlon Pather and The Butchers are going to run more deals (maybe later).



3. The author and editors of The Globe and Mail are not aware that Chemistry is indeed science. Here is a definition from Wikipedia for those who still in doubts: “Chemistry is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes”.



They also claimed:

Then there’s the marketing potential. “What people don’t realize is every customer that’s come into my store, they write their e-mail address,” Mr. Pather says

Has anyone been requested to write e-mail address in store?


Siesta at The Butchers every weekday!

The company made it almost absolutely impossible to redeem the coupons for people. The Butchers is closed now from 11:30am until 1pm during weekdays and does not accept vouchers on weekends.


For most of the customers lunch time is the only possible time to visit the store during a working day.

This is one more very serious change to the voucher conditions by The Butchers. “Keeping our standards”…


What’s next with The Butchers? Re-branding!

Marlin’s Fish Shop, Marlons Butchery, Marlon’s Meat

Even if The Butchers goes under there is a good plan. But maybe it is the plan itself… who knows…

313 thoughts on “The Butchers Scam on BuyTopia, WebPiggy.. Additives in meat”

  1. We’ve been going into Marlon’s for years… the quality has been great and we’ve not had issues mentioned but then again we didn’t buy any of the group deal coupons.

    The Toronto Star did some research on the suppliers and confirmed the meat as organic and as the poster admits, presence of starch does not in any way imply the meat is non-organic, simply that it contains some form of starch.

    For those who suggest the store is still closed (Jack), you need to do a little better work on fact checking before making such nasty comments. The store is indeed open and thousands of folks were able to successfully redeem their coupons. It was closed while the coolers were expanded… (at the Dept of Health’s request) to handle the volume and the redemption period was extended to compensate.

    Man you guys are like chicken little on here… one blogger (who can’t even spell) writes a bad review with some bad science, draws one possible conclusion out of the myriad possibilities and everyone jumps on it like lemmings. Kill the wabbit! kill the wabbit!

    What will you do when all the small businesses are gone because jerks like you beat them up into bankruptcy and the only choice left is Costco?

  2. Are you high Anita? No one got to use their coupons and no one is a regular customer because he screwed half the city and now closed his store.

  3. I bought my coupons, had absolutely no trouble using them, received great service, and enjoyed the tastiest meat I’ve had in years! Yes, the meat is expensive, but that’s because of the quality, and the way the animals are raised. My coupons are used up now (and what a great deal they were!), but I’ve become a regular customer. Just wanted to say that not all have had bad experiences here.

  4. As stated above I did see that the “Marlon’s Meat” sign is still down as of April 20. I didn’t know they also disconnected their phone. Jack (see above post), are you saying that customers can’t use the front door but the shop is still open ?

  5. Hi,
    I’m totally interested in suing buytopia & The Butcher. I purchased a $99 for $400 voucher and I have not being able to redeem the voucher. I tried calling and emailing Buytopia, but they are not returning their email or calls.

  6. Shouldn’t these coupon/gift certificates not be able to expire under the provincial law that doesn’t let gift cards expire. They are not really coupons because they cost money. They are more like a discounted pre paid voucher of some sort. We need some legislation

  7. Some of you may have past by “Marlon’s meat” in the past few weeks or called the shop only to notice the signage outside has been removed and their phone number has been put out of service. Please know the shop is open and operating using the back door. This is to avoid voucher holders as the expiry date is near to redeem.

  8. Hi All,

    So I too was one of the victims of Marlon the Scam artist .. I actually work in the neighbourhood so when i saw this deal i thought “hey, why not, I can run over at lunch and grab some FRESH QUALITY meat for dinner” and bought 2 of the $99 for $400 worth of meat deals…

    I ended up talking to Marlon who was so upset about the violence and vandalism happening in his store from these deals, he cried me this huge story and i felt bad for him…. little did i know what was really going on… no kidding people were going in there flipping out, he was scamming them…

    anyways I built up a little repore with Marlon, so when I dropped in one night after work to grab a few steaks for dinner (perhaps in June sometime??)he put it through even though it didnt “conform” with the newly set out voucher approved times…. wanna hear the crazy part….. $69 for 3 small piddly steaks!!!! I almost fell over when the girl told me my total.. but what ever right… quality, organic meat I got a good deal with the voucher…. blah blah blah… ps the meat wasnt that good after being BBQ’d

    so then I did nothing for the next few months, didnt do ne research… Noticed he closed for renovations..didnt think ne thing of it…. until my sister who was also a victim told me what was going on… I still shrugged it off…

    Marlon reopened and I bought a different voucher for “organic” beef ribs I think it was $22 for 11 lbs and you could chose the location to redeem and his store happend to be one of them…. when i went in this time… his whole demener and attitude had changed… i inquired about this meat order that my ssiter had placed in MAy (it was now Oct) he was rude and informed me that it was in que… right…. what ever that means …

    a short time later my sister again started talking to me about this scam and got me riled up…. the end result of her telling me I wont be successful and win… I WON!

    I contacted my credit card company and reported this SCAM! there is so much info and facts out there to prove that it is a scam… calll and report buytopia or who ever and let the CC comapnies kno whats going on! Call your local MPP, report them to the BBB get the word out there about these companies!

  9. Good afternoon fellow fraud victims!

    If you’re interested in an attempt to recover some or all of the money you spent at The Butcher’s Organic/Marlon’s Meats, please email

    I am not a lawyer. I am, however, betting that Mr. Pather and his accomplices have assumed that the individuals he defrauded will not be able to work together to pursue him. I’d really like to prove him wrong and I’m willing to administer a list of people interested in a class action. Once a reasonable number of people have indicated their willingness to participate in a class action civil suit, I will communicate our options via email. If we have an overwhelming response (fingers crossed) I intend to form a committee of interested individuals to manage the process.

    Please note that the lawyer representing us will ultimately be responsible for strategy (for example, do we sue the group buying deal sites or do we try to get them on board by asking them to join in our action?).

    Your information will NOT BE SHARED without your explicit permission and will be only be communicated to the lawyer that we ultimately engage to represent us.

    Please note that harassment will not be tolerated and will be reported to the authorities.

    Please provide
    1. your name
    2. a daytime telephone number
    3. your email address
    4. the terms of the deal you purchased

    Looking forward to hearing from you! Please spread the word and don’t hesitate to be in touch!


  10. To Marlon Hater – I agree! And I’d be willing to add my name to a class action suit. I’ve been trying since November 2011 to get some form of response from Buytopia and/or Marlon’s. Surprise! No one ever gets back to me. It’s ridiculous to think that a company could run this type of scam so openly and outrageously at that. Why are they not being held accountable???

    Barring a lawsuit, how about a March on Marlon’s? Maybe Buytopia Blockade? I’m sure a couple hundred angry, bilked customers, along with news cameras, descending on their front doors might get their attention.

  11. Bleh, spending the day talking to Buytopia about refunding my coupons from early 2011….still on the phone….

  12. Is anyone interested in some form a class action lawsuit against Marlon’s Meat? I know we won’t be able to recover the full amount of our coupons but we can inflict more pain for his unscrupulous practices.

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