“When people think of what they’re going to cook at night, it really starts around the meat, right? That’s the basis,” says Philip Delprete, president and chairman of the board of Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace, which operates seven stores in New York and New Jersey. The meat and seafood departments are key to the success of the business, he notes, and he should know — both Delprete and his father were butchers.
All proteins are brought in fresh, never frozen, according to Delprete. Beef is delivered three times a week, the pork is sourced from a local farmer, and seafood arrives fresh every day, with clams harvested from Long Island Sound and lobsters from Maine.
“We’re giving the freshest product possible to people,” he says.
The stores are staffed with at least five butchers as well as apprentices, with between 12 to 15 employees working the meat department to ensure that customers are getting meat cut to their exact specifications. This includes freshly ground beef, chicken and turkey that are often flavored to create custom burgers.
The department offers a variety of specialty products, including broccoli rabe burgers, bacon burgers, chicken breasts stuffed with asparagus and fontina cheese, and chicken thighs stuffed with broccoli rabe.
“It’s still the old way of bringing the product in as fresh as you can,” Delprete adds, “and giving the best-quality meats to the consumer. We’re just trying to stay with that old-fashioned way. We feel that sets us apart from the average supermarket.”