We love nothing more than featuring a new business in our community and today’s highlight is The Berlin Butcher Shop located at 101 Williams Street in Berlin, MD. Having opened only seven weeks ago, business owner, Lisa Hall, says that the positive response from people within the community is overwhelming. So, we asked Lisa how this all began. Lisa tells us that this has actually been a dream of hers for the past four or five years because a traditional butcher shop has unfortunately found its place on the “near extinction list” in terms of business models.
“For years, shoppers have been pushed further and further to chain stores because they didn’t have any options. Five years ago, people were really becoming more conscience of where their food came from and today, it is more so than ever,” Hall told us. “I didn’t have a butcher, but then I met Matt at the Food Lion here in Berlin. After meeting Matt, everything just started to fall into place.”
Matt DiPietro, Butcher for the Berlin Butcher Shop comes from a very long line of small business owners and butchers. Believe it or not, Matt is actually a 4th generation butcher. His great-grandparents owned a store in upper New York and the entrepreneur bug stayed in the family, carrying down to Matt’s grandfather and father. Featured in the Shop are photos of Matt as a teenage boy helping his own Dad in their family store, along with a newspaper clipping of his great-grandparent’s store from the early 20th century. Matt moved to the area about ten years ago to help a friend open a bar in town. After staying with that business for only a year, Matt ventured out into town and began bartending and meeting more locals. When the manager position at the Food Lion became available, Matt jumped at the opportunity that he already knew he could do well, thus meeting Lisa Hall in the process. And the rest, they say, is history.
When we walked into the Berlin Butcher Shop for the first time, we really didn’t know what to expect, knowing that they had not been open for that long, but the selection is amazing. Some of their offerings, but certainly not limited to, include:
Fresh Ground Chuck 80/20
Black Angus Cuts
Prime Ribeye and NY Strips
Organic Hamburger Meat
Applewood Smoked Bacon
Boar’s Head Deli Meats & Cheeses
Boar’s Head Hot Dogs, Kraut and Pickles
Burley Oak Cold Brew Coffee
Various Seasoning Canisters
Lisa mentioned to us that the chicken and pork products are local and the beef products are purchased from a distributor out west, because that is where prime beef is raised. Her distributor is very exclusive and only represents three farms that have to pass a rigorous test in order to be represented. The highlight of the Berlin Butcher Shop is their homemade sausage with so many flavors to choose from. Matt uses his great-grandparent’s 100-year old recipe and adds different flavors to make it his own. The sausage has become such a favorite among shoppers that Matt has produced over 500 pounds of sausage since opening their doors!
We missed our opportunity to reserve a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, but Lisa and Matt told us to keep our eyes on their Facebook page for limited features that will be available for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We had to know in advance what they had planned, because seriously, who could wait? They shared with us that we can expect to see a variety of lamb products, bone-in meats, rib roasts and more. Another great feature that they offer are called “bundle packages” which include a variety of products at a bundled and discounted rate. Another great savings is in what Matt calls “whole primals” which may include the entire pork loin at a discounted price per pound.
The duo of Hall and DiPietro have very big plans for the future, as well. Some of these plans include expanding the Shoppe to include one more case for more cuts of meat and additional varieties of Matt’s homemade sausage. They would also like to begin offering “ready to cook” items that may be pre-seasoned and/or stuffed, which takes a lot of the prep work off of the home chef. Hall and DiPietro have also been collaborating behind the scenes with Burley Oak so stay tuned for this partnership to hit the shelves in 2017. Another new feature to the store includes Berlin Butcher Shoppe gift cards which can be purchased in $25.00 denominations. What an awesome gift for a friend or family member who you know like to shop and eat local but, shipping a whole primal can be a tricky situation. These gift cards earn a winning vote in our books!
Yes, you can tell that we are excited to watch this business grow in our local community. What once was home to a Sinclair gas station in the 1940’s, then a flower shop for many years, is now home to a thriving new era of local business in Berlin, MD. Before leaving the Berlin Butcher Shop, we asked Matt why he chose to join Hall in her efforts and he simply said “we’re just trying to bring quality back.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.