celebrating a sense of place

I remember going to our hometown butcher shop with my mom and gawking at the cases of fresh-cut meats lovingly arrayed behind the spotless glass counter…  bright red marbled steaks, plump whole chickens, and thick center-cut chops, right out where you could see them. I recall the smiling, burly guy behind the white apron who knew what Mom wanted before she even had to ask. He knew all of his customers by name and treated every one of them like old friends. Mom felt good about the meat she brought home for her family because she had a relationship with our butcher, he was someone we knew and trusted. I thought those days were gone for good until a friend told me about Chester Meat Market.

For over 40 years, and in the same location, Chester Meat Market has been bringing their customers top quality meats raised right here in the USA. Following in the footsteps of their mentor and Chester Meat Market’s former beloved owner, Louis Gross, Master Butchers Glen Boralsky and Jon Hoffman have almost fifty years of experience in the butcher’s trade, and they’re passing those skills on to their apprentices, Nick, Joe and Sean. There’s much more to being a butcher than meets the eye. It takes concentration, dexterity, physical strength and stamina (why do you think Glen and Jon lift all those weights in their spare time). Watching these guys ply their ancient trade is like watching any artisan work in their medium. They utilize skill, experience, and the pride in their craft to produce the best product they know how, and in the case of a master butcher, it has to be pleasing to the palate as well as the eye. But the way they treat their craft is only half the story at Chester Meat market – the other half is how they treat their customers.

I once asked a chef-friend of mine his advice for picking out the perfect steak. He said, “learn about your cuts of beef, choose the right steak for the right meal, and most importantly, get to know your butcher,” and in these days of “conscious consumerism” that sage advice seems more essential than ever. While Glen and Jon are celebrated for their store-made hot dogs (every kid’s favorite), amazing burgers, hand-cut prime steaks, and handmade all-natural chicken cutlets, they are equally famous for their knowledgeable advice, winning smiles, and the genuine care they show for their customers. At Chester Meat Market you’re not a number on a slip of paper, pulled out of some plastic dispenser on the wall – you’re family. Ask anyone that knows them and they’ll all tell you the same thing – “they’re great guys!” They love what they’re doing, they love their customers, and their customers love them. And if you think I’m exaggerating, swing by a couple of days before Thanksgiving or Christmas and watch folks line up from the counter all the way out to the sidewalk. But you don’t have to wait for a holiday to eat like it’s one. Chester Meat Market brings you top quality and incomparable customer service year round – just like you would expect from your hometown butcher shop. 

Chester Meat Market: Your Hometown Butcher Shop

​By Kip Garner/ © The Black River Journal


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Chester Meat Market is located in the Chester Shopping Mall, 27 W Main St, Chester, NJ 07930, (908) 879-7523. chestermeatmarket.com