By Danny Catullo
I’ll be honest with you. When I came back to Youngstown to run my family’s butcher shop, I never thought that would equate to being a local food leader.
I just loved great food, no matter its origin, and I knew the business needed a more innovative way to sell it.
Things have definitely changed since I made our first Facebook post trumpeting the fact we still cut “swinging beef” (butcher lingo for whole beef on a rail).
Never before in our history, have people asked more questions about how the animals are fed, where they were raised, and of course, what makes the meat special enough to be in our case. We embraced the new “foodie community” and armed our customer service reps with information to help answer questions as honestly as possible.
It changed the way we bought products, and the way we did business, but not every customer would embrace the changes.
For all the benefits of working with nearby local farms, the price of the products are often more expensive and sometimes hard to get in on a consistent basis. Many of our customers fell in love with our expansion of local meat, eggs and dairy.
Without a community that would support buying from a specialty butcher shop, I wouldn’t be able to write this local food post, let alone support my employees and my family.
Catullo Prime Meats
Working with the amazing local farmers, Catullo Prime Meats has been able to grow leaps and bounds by becoming a hub for talking and purchasing local food.
I completely understand the challenges of having every ingredient on your menu be local, let alone every meal.
I still want homemade guacamole with my local prime beef flat iron fajitas but avocados are not about to start being grown here.
Catullo’s needs to make homemade spaghetti sauce without Molnar tomatoes in December, but at least we have some Miller’s Grassfed Beef Bones giving it some great flavor.
We aren’t exactly using local lemons with our Pasture Perfect Natural Chicken from Seth Sharp.
Supporting your local farmers doesn’t have to be an all the time thing to still have a tremendous impact on our economy. All I ask is that you give their products a shot at having a place on your plate. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for listening to this butcher ramble. As you can probably tell, I can talk food all day.
Whether you are going direct to the farmer, dropping by your local grocery store or shopping in my butcher shop, feel free to ask my staff and I questions about cooking, which cut to buy/use, etc.
Our goal is to help as many people enjoy their meal as we can.
(Danny Catullo is the owner of Catullo Prime Meats, a third generation specialty butcher store in Youngstown, Ohio. He learned the art of butchery at a young age from his grandfather and his father. Danny is also a graduate of Ohio State University, where he studied communications and business. Having the knowledge of both ends of the business, has helped launch Danny’s vision for the new generation of Catullo Prime Meats.)
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