Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Although The Butcher Shop has been in business for nearly 20 years, owner Nick Cortese said many people are still unaware of its existence, so when he took over in 2010 Cortese decided to change that.
He turned to the annual Taste of Lockport to spread the word about the Lincoln Avenue shop.
“I wanted to get the word out that we’re here,” Cortrse said. “I said the Taste of Lockport is a good idea to get that word out.”
Pleased with the turnout and reception he received in 2011, Cortese and the Butcher Shop are back for more.
After bringing “too many items” to the 2011 Taste, this year’s offerings are simple yet delectable: chicken sausage with spinach and feta cheese, and a baconburger.
“We grind the bacon right in with the ground beef,” Cortese said. “You can’t go wrong with bacon,” he added with a laugh.
Customers who enter The Butcher Shop will see fresh cut steaks and pork. The only beef they carry is USDA choice certified Hereford beef.
“It’s the best grade we can get; a lot of the restaurants pick up the prime before we can, but the choice that we carry is probably better than some prime that’s out there,” Cortese said.
A full line of gluten-free cold cuts are available and the shop carries nearly 15 varieties of sausage, all of which are made in-house by Cortese and his staff of three.
He admitted that stuffing the sausage casings is time-consuming, but his crew is seasoned, whih helps put out a good product.
Although he took over ownership just two years ago, Cortese is no stranger to The Butcher Shop: he started working there in 2001 when he was still in high school. Realizing his future was in the food business, Cortese attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he received a degree in culinary arts.
Cortrese worked at several restaurants in the Pittsburgh area before returning to his hometown. He was employed at the Park Country Club in Williamsville and working part time at The Butcher Shop when its owners approached him with a business opportunity.
“They asked me if I was interested in purchasing it, and I said, ‘definitely,’ “ Cortese said. “I ended up getting the funding form a bank and here I am.”
Another reason Cortese is looking to draw more attention to his store is to quell rumors that it’s closing.
“Finnan’s, next door, closed,” Cortese said. “And there was a book store that moved down the street. With Finnans closing, everyone thought we were leaving because we were right next door to them.”
The Butcher Shop is located at 1193 Lincoln Ave., near Davison Road. The shop is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed Sundays and Mondays.