BBP 014: Andy Lugo talks Cooper’s Meat Market, Service, and Custom Cuts
For many of us, having a full-service butcher nearby isn’t in the cards. If we’re lucky, we’ve been able to establish a decent rapport with the meat department manager at our local supermarket. Imagine being able to walk up to the butcher counter, order your cut or cuts of meat, and have them take directly from the primal, not grabbed off the rack of a cooler.
Luckily, there are still places where you can get this kind of service, and Cooper’s Meat Market of San Antonio, TX is one of them.
Here’s a look at what you can expect to find at Cooper’s Meat Market:
In this BBQ Beat Podcast session, I talk with Andy Lugo, Head Butcher and Executive Chef at Cooper’s Meat Market in San Antonio, Texas. Andy was kind enough to walk me through the operations there at Cooper’s, and after our talk – I was left wishing we had a place like his here in Central Florida.
Now… let’s get onto the Show Notes.
Time Stamped Show Notes
- [2:00] Get to know more about Andy Lugo and the work he and his staff do for Cooper’s Meat Market in San Antonio, TX. It’s all about offering the very best in custom cuts for local folks as well as those looking online.
- [3:00] Cooper’s Meat Market is different from what most may expect in that they offer fresh selections, cut to order from large primals. Selections come from wet-aged large primals that are at the peak of readiness.
- [4:37] Andy and his staff start every morning going over what cuts are ready to offer. They don’t push selections based on what they need to unload. Instead, they ensure that what they’re preparing for customers meets the highest expectations. “We’re not going to push it just because we have a lot of it. We’re going to push it because it’s the best cut of the day.” — Andy Lugo
- [4:57] Getting a tattoo, or a custom cut of meat – it’s all about where you go and who’s doing the work on/for you.
- [6:00] Forging and benefiting from solid butcher/customer relationships. Don’t have a butcher shop like Cooper’s Meat Market near you? No problem. You can order from them online. Including items from their “Exotic” meat category… Online shop items are updated daily based on what’s best and what’s available.
- [8:26] Listen as I learn what calf fries are… that’s all I’ll say here. Except for that they seem like an acquired taste item that I think I’ll keep off my food bucket list. LOL
- [9:35] Here we learn about Andy’s culinary training, his work background as an executive chef, and how he came to work at Cooper’s Meat Market as Executive Chef and Head Butcher.
- [10:30] Andy talks about the catering that Cooper’s does as well as the high quality ingredients and products they have on hand for their use. Mention is made here of what it’s like being and dealing with other purveyors – a struggle that can sometimes have you cursing (like in the stories told in Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential).
- [12:27] Learn what Andy does to ensure that his competition BBQ clients are always happy with and can always depend on the quality of ribs, pork, chicken, and beef they get from Cooper’s. Best quote from this section – “We want them to fall in love with meat all over again, and we want them to win.”
- [16:12] Andy talks about how Cooper’s Meat Market prices their meats and how market pricing impacts the special pricing they like to give competition cooks as well as their other retail customers.
- [17:45] We talk a bit about how Andy and his children enjoy barbecuing together – both at home and on the competition circuit. Kid’s cue events get a special mention here.
- [18:49] We round out the conversation by discussing competition BBQ in Texas and what Andy does as part of Cooper’s Meat Market to work with and help competition teams directly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this BBQ Beat podcast session with Andy Lugo. It’s clear that he has a great passion for working with the highest grades of meats available. Also clear is his love of providing excellent customer service and high quality to his customers.
If you find yourself in the San Antonio area, drop into Cooper’s Meat Market and ask for Andy. Tell him you hear this podcast and ask him what they have on hand that’s good. My guess is that you’ll be very happy with what he offers up.
Company Name: Cooper’s Meat Market
Address: 6002 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: (210) 820-3838
Facebook for Andy: Click here
Facebook for Cooper’s: Click here
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