This coming Saturday, a new butcher is opening on the West Side. Moriarty Meats is a business that specializes in tailored whole animal butchery. Incredibly, Moriarty Meats is setting up shop in the same location that was formerly occupied by Frank Zarcone & Sons Italian Meat Market. Zarcone & Sons was around for sixty years.
Moriarty Meats will specialize in freezer meat (bulk), custom cuts on request, and workshops that will help to educate their consumers about cuts and preparation. The artisan butcher shop will carry a number of local meats, including forequarter of beef from Shining Star (North Collins, NY), and whole pig from Kindred Creek (Akron, NY – Sat 6th or Sat 13th, pending slaughter date). These animals/cuts will be offered this Saturday, and possibly next Saturday – they are excellent examples of the types of offerings that customers can expect to find at the shop moving forward.
The business operation is being run by the husband-wife team of Thomas and Caitlin Moriarty.
Tom managed a beef farm in Massachusetts, and also earned a degree from L’ecole Nationale Superieure des Metiers de la Viande (French national butchery school). On top of that, Tom worked as a butcher in Avallon, France, and draws upon his experience at La Escuela de Hosteleria de Leiona (Spanish culinary arts and hospitality), as well as other Spanish culinary outfits where he has first hand experience working with the meats.
While Caitlin is not involved on the butchery side of the business, she does have extensive knowledge of Grant Street and the West Side. As an architectural and cultural historian who moved to Buffalo in 2011, Caitlin has immersed herself into various aspects of the city, especially the history of the West Side. Now she’s about to immerse herself into an artisan business, akin to the ones that she studied during her days as a historian.
The couple will start with limited retail hours, as they both have day jobs and this is a passion project.”
What makes Moriarty Meats so special, is its dedication to the whole animal. Over the years, giant food operations have essentially driven the small butcher shops out of business. Unfortunately, without the small butcher shops, the industry as a whole became far less sustainable. As people became disconnected with their food, food production became more and mechanized. Ultimately, it turned out that this commercial process meant that only 65 percent of the animal was being used in the American meat cutting industry. An artisan butcher is quite different, thanks to the extensive anatomical knowledge of the animal that they possess. By hand cutting the product, Tom is able to use 95 percent of the animal (see cut sheets). That means that there is a better cut of meat, the practice is more sustainable, and the world is a far better place.
Tom and Caitlin pride themselves on being respectful to the animal, while appealing to cooks who care about what they are eating. They also understand that it’s important to have fair prices, which is why they are starting the business in much more of a grassroots manner. That means that many of the animals, and the cuts, can be preordered, which is also another sustainable way to do business. A customer will be able to walk into Moriarty Meats and pick up homemade sausage, or place a custom order for Cote de Boeuf.
“We really want to focus on bulk (sides) and special orders,” said Caitlin. “With a Saturday market that runs various specials each week – in the vein of a farmers’ market, rather than a full service shop where people expect a huge variety all the time.”
According to their business mantra, “We provide high quality, precise cutting for freezer beef, pork, lamb, and other meats sourced locally in Western New York. Using traditional French butchery, we minimize waste, work exclusively by hand, and offer more variety of cuts than standard American meat shops or slaughterhouses.”
Moriarty Meats | 23 Grant Street | Buffalo, NY | 716-860-5200
Open this Saturday, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM