Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chester Meat Market: Service and quality

If you're roasting, grilling, braising or stewing, you need meat. And if you want the best advice and the best meat, you may already frequent the Chester Meat Market.

"We've been in Morris County for 40 years. We've been in this location for 28 years, and we're in the retail meat business," says proud shop owner Louie Gross.

"We have service and quality, we cut fresh meat into our showcase, every day, all day, six days a week, and whatever you want, we do. We're completely service orientated."

Gross and his four employees all enjoy their work.

"Service and quality," employee Glen Boralsky says. "That's our motto."

They like their own products, too.

"I like everything. I like rib-eye steaks, I like New York strip, I like rack of lamb. I like it all, really. I'm very carnivorous, I only eat meat," Gross says.

In glass cases sit delectable meats cut that very morning, ranging from hot dogs to kielbasa to some of the choicest ground beef you've ever tasted, perfect for making into juicy hamburgers.

"We cut almost a 40-foot showcase of meat every day, and it goes," Gross says, "We push stuff out all day long, and we have a good rapport with our people. The whole key is to love what you do."

He said the shop sells equal amounts of different meats. A lot of ground beef gets sold, along with specialties including sirloin beef patties and special hot dogs.

He also knows the best ways for customers to use his products.

For example, grilling season is here, and Gross says any meat can be grilled.

"Pork chops are good on the grill, steaks are good on the grill, we do lamb chops on the grill, everything actually lends itself to grilling," he says.

"If you're going to cook a roast, then you should always preheat your oven, and should let the piece of meat stand out in room temperature for a little while so it warms up and you're not putting in a cold piece of meat into a cold oven," he advises, "And start off with the proper piece of meat. That's why you should go to a good butcher who can guide you."

A butcher's shop has more control over its products than a large supermarket, he explains.

"We can select ourselves, and we have complete control of what we bring in. If we don't like what we bring in, then we'll send it back, whereas a lot of places can't do that because it's bought by buyers. Here, we do our own buying."

And while some places are switching to Canadian, New Zealand or Australian meat because it's cheaper for the consumer, Gross says he's sticking with American products because of their better quality.

Gross is a third-generation meat man.

"I worked in Newark, I worked upstate New York, I worked in Chicago. I worked all over the world. I've always been in the meat business and never wanted to do anything else," he says. "My father was in it and my grandpa was in it. I like the excitement in it. I meet nice people, and that's a big, big part of it."

Gross and his fellow workers specialize in being a meat market, but the shop also has a fully stocked deli. But the shop doesn't advertise that. The shop doesn't advertise at all — its reputation alone attracts plenty of business.

"We do big word of mouth business," Gross says, "Our whole object is, if you're happy, you'll tell somebody else. And it's worked for us all these years."

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