Butchers sell their products into specialized stores called butcher shops. Butchers at these shops may perform butchery, but typically perform “primary butchery”, but will typically perform “secondary butchery” to prepare fresh cuts of meat for sale.
A butcher shop may also sell additional products at their store including: food preparation supplies, baked goods and grocery items. Butcher shops can have a wider variety of animal types, meat cuts and quality of cuts. Some butcher shops may be set up to focus on a particular culture or nationality of meat production. Butcher shops are starting to make a slow comeback across the country.
An article by Jason Daley on Entrepreneur.com looks at the comeback of the butcher shop. Business owner Justin Rosberg decided after 10 years in the restaurant business he wanted to go into business for himself. “He thought back to his childhood and to the friendly neighborhood butcher shops that were quickly disappearing from New England. It seemed to him that with a few modern updates, the boutique butcher shop/grocery could appeal to foodies, local-food advocates and consumers weary of giant, impersonal supermarkets. So he brought aboard longtime friend Jason Parent, and they laid out their plans for The Meat House.”
“We wanted to bring the fine-dining mentality to a retail atmosphere,” says Rosberg.” “It hit a sweet spot–while specialty meat markets around the country were closing, The Meat House added eight stores in its first three years. In 2008, the Manchester, N.H.-based company began franchising; it now has 30 stores in 10 states and plans to open 10 more franchise locations this year. Rosberg and Parent took off their aprons to tell us how they’re reviving an old-time institution.
What sets The Meat House [and other butcher shops apart for consumers]? “Parent: It all starts with the relationship. People are going to feel comfortable asking questions when the relationship is strong. We have customers who come in and say, “What should I have for dinner tonight?” We’re really proud to have that trust, for them to approach us and say, “I trust you so much; I’m going to ask you what I should feed my family. I think it’s all cyclical. Before the big-box stores, people had Sam the Butcher. We’re smaller and more manageable than a big-box store. People consider us a revival of the local butcher and grocer that their grandma used to take them to, and they like that.