Northwest Florida Restaurateur Opens New Market Concept

AJ’s Rocking L Specialty Meats and Gourmet Market to serve Destin community
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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AJ’s Rocking L Specialty Meats and Gourmet Market
Inside AJ’s Rocking L Specialty Meats and Gourmet Market.

Alan Laird, owner of four AJ’s restaurants along Florida’s Gulf Coast, is expanding his reputation from seafood to specialty meats. The restaurateur is opening a new business concept, AJ’s Rocking L – Specialty Meats and Gourmet Market, in Destin, Fla.

The privately owned specialty meat and gourmet market is located at Shoreline Village Mall at 872 Highway 98 E., Unit #19. The new market boasts 2,500 square feet of space and is dedicated to providing the finest-quality custom-cut meats while maintaining that small-town atmosphere that AJ’s customers have come to expect.

[Read more: "15 Outstanding Independents That Dare to Stand Apart"]

“We’re here to serve the families of the Emerald Coast and to ensure that we meet all of their meat and produce needs,” said Laird. 

All meats sold in the market are sustainably sourced from the family’s farm, Rocking L Ranch and Farm, in nearby Florala, Ala.

“We’re devoted to raising the freshest produce and finest beef,” said Laird. “Our cattle graze on pesticide- and herbicide-free pastures to ensure customers get the best.” This includes grass-fed Black Angus and Wagyu beef.

In addition to offering customers a wide selection of premium meats, the market features a variety of fresh seasonal produce from its partners at Maples Market, in Andalusia, Ala. There’s also a selection of wines, desserts, fine cheeses and daily to-go hot-lunch plates.

Further, just in time for Thanksgiving, AJ’s Rocking L Specialty Meats and Gourmet Market is offering pre-order Thanksgiving meals for those who prefer to spend more time with family by ordering out.

A City of Destin Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov. 4 at noon, with a grand-opening party scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food samples, live music, beer and wine tastings, and market giveaways – including a complete Thanksgiving feast – will all be part of the opening-day festivities.

AJ’s restaurants have been serving fresh seafood to tourists and locals on the Gulf Coast since 1984.

[Progressive Grocer has opened its annual Outstanding Independents Awards program. For more details on how to enter, click here.]

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