In the past decades, there has been a shift away from small, local grocers and butcher shops to large supermarkets and mass-produced products. With the growth of “big box” business, many people have come to accept that pre-packaged meats, cheeses, breads, and other products are normal. No way!
In recent years, there seems to be a return to small, mom-and-pop owned businesses. Farmers markets, family-owned bakeries, and locally sourced butcher shops are becoming more common. And for good reason. There are a lot of benefits.
If you’ve been thinking about trying out your local butcher shop – what’s stopping you? Wander in there today and find out about all the great benefits your butcher has to offer.
Butcher Shop Becomes Community Center
In good times and in bad, people eat. And dinner, the largest meal of the day for most people, frequently revolves around a central plate of meat – even in the toughest of times. Your local butcher shop will probably become like a community center. As a local owner and business operator, the butcher becomes a hot spot in the community where people will always visit, no matter the weather or political circumstances. It’s a place where local teenagers can get summer jobs, where local kids might be sent on an errand by their mother, where people might still have accounts on credit.
Butcher Shops Offer Best Local Options
If you believe that organic, grass-fed, non-GMO, or other specifics of your meat production are better for you, your family, and your environment, then you definitely need to visit your local butcher shop. The butcher can talk to you about the farms that source their meat, and the specifics of the animals that are brought to them and sold from their storefront. Butchers have very intimate relationships with local farmers and can often help you track down a specialty meat or something to fit your requirements – such as Halal or Kosher dietary needs. In addition, local shops often have a supply of local spices or sauces, local cheeses, or other delicacies that complement their meats.
Butcher Shops Offer Seasonal Rarities
Many larger supermarkets will have a generic type of meat available year-round. Meat which might be shipped from across the country (or even, internationally!) However, if you’re looking for subtle differences or local rarities, head to your local butcher shop. That’s the best place to get meats that you can’t find at larger stores – such as wild game or rare fowl options – or even to get international cuts that are never available pre-packaged.
Butcher Shops Are Local Treasures
In addition to being a local one-stop-shop for your community to find the rarest and best cuts of meat from local farmers, butcher shops are a key part of your local economy. Not only do they connect the local consumer’s dollar with the local producer, they are also a small business that feeds the community’s larger small business network. Butcher shops are often family businesses, passed down from one generation to the next, but also part of larger national organizations and guilds. Want to help your city’s economy? Shop local!
Community Inspected, Community Approved
Of course, butcher shops undergo heavy regulation from the city, county, state, and federal agencies to ensure that their facilities are up-to-snuff. While the approvals, ratings, and certifications will hang proudly on the wall, the real testament to the local butcher is how many people from the neighborhood shop there. Most butcher shops will have a reputation with locals about their cleanliness, selection, and friendliness. The best way to know that your local butcher shop is community approved is to see how many locals shop there.
Butcher Shops are Customer-Oriented
While larger grocery shops think of themselves as providing a premiere selection for their customers, smaller businesses, like butcher shops, can afford to be truly customer-based. Because they aren’t subject to large corporate rules, butcher shops can set hours that are convenient and work with the local consumers. Many butcher shops will also have a deli that serves breakfast and lunch – and some even have a late-night delivery service! There’s an incredible flexibility and comfort in knowing that not only is your local butcher thinking about you and your family, but he or she is looking out for ways to make your experience at their butcher shop better.