Nov. 24, 2010By Tim Simard Observer staff
Thick cuts of prime steak, fresh Atlantic haddock and chicken wings marinating in a homemade buffalo sauce — local butcher Rex Ready showed a passion for all of them on Monday afternoon while touring his new store, the Shelburne Meat Market at Williston.
On only the third day since it opened, the new market appeared to have a loyal following, Ready said. He pointed to a group of returning customers walking through the door heading directly for the counter. Ready correctly guessed that all six customers came for the market’s gourmet sandwiches.
“They really are delicious,” Ready said with a laugh.
The Shelburne Meat Market, which opened its first store in Shelburne in 2007, has now brought its choice cuts of meat, chicken and fish to the Taft Corners Shopping Center. It’s located next to Once Upon A Child.
Ready said he hopes the Shelburne Meat Market at Williston becomes a local success, much like the original location.
“We’ve built a huge following in Shelburne and I know we can do that here,” Ready said. “Williston’s the place to be.”
Ready’s mother, Kim Ready, owns both markets, with Rex managing the Williston location. The Taft Corners store opened its doors for the first time on Nov. 20, becoming Williston’s second meat market to open in November. Vermont Meat & Seafood Market opened earlier this month on Cornerstone Drive.
At Shelburne Meat Market at Williston, brightly lit display cases presented the variety of meats the market features on a daily basis. Prime cuts of beef sat above marinating steaks and chicken breasts. Steak tips soaking in homemade teriyaki sauces and chicken thighs drenched with barbeque sauce drew the gaze of more than one customer Monday.
“Those marinades — that’s what keeps people coming back again and again,” Ready said.
Ready also mentioned the stuffed chicken selections and the wide assortment of meat and vegetable kabobs as other popular items.
The meat market also sells a variety of seafood catches, much of which come directly from New England’s cold Atlantic Ocean waters. Ready said he has a buyer who scours the Boston Fish Market for the best it has to offer. Ready pointed out a plate of fresh ahi tuna steaks, which he said were sushi quality.
Much like the original Shelburne Meat Market, Williston’s location features many local cheeses, fruits and vegetables, some of which come from various Champlain Valley farms. In the center of the store, wine racks offer everything from local reds to international pinot grigios. Large refrigerators hold several brands of beer, including numerous Vermont brews.
What sets the Williston market apart is its in-house deli — something the Shelburne store does not have. As a result, Ready and his staff can make any combination of deli sandwiches fresh to order. Currently, the Williston crew is developing a menu that will carry gourmet sandwiches, paninis, salads and soups. Ready said the menu will be available in a few weeks.
Ready said he hopes Williston residents will check out his store and discover the high quality and selection of meats on hand.
“This is so much better and fresher than what you’ll find in a supermarket,” Ready said.
The Shelburne Meat Market at Williston, located in the Taft Corners Shopping Center, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.