Eating “real meat” these days isn’t as easy as it seems, but enter Marbled Meat Shop in Cold Spring and you can expect to purchase meat the way it’s supposed to be produced, thanks to owners Chris Pascarella and his wife Lisa Hall.
Pascarella and his wife opened their shop in December 2014 and have only been on an upward trajectory since then. The couple moved to Cold Spring in May 2014 and frequented The Pantry for their coffee and beer. After talking with the owners of The Pantry, Andy and Samantha, about possibly opening a meat shop in the area, the couple offered them a small space in the back as a low risk opportunity.
The community latched on quickly and from there they’ve grown and learned as the months passed. Pascarella and his staff break down pigs, lamb, goat, and get sides of beef each week. The shop also makes all of its own sausage and cold cuts. All sandwiches are prepared at chef-level expertise.
“I learned that this neighborhood is in desperate need of real meat,” Pascarella said. “We just kind of saw a niche that wasn’t being filled.”
Pascarella explained that post World War II, as supermarkets were on the rise, animals stopped being raised conventionally. Producers would start feeding cows corn and grain in feedlots in order to keep up with the high demand, Pascarella said.
“More like making it a machine instead of animals how they’re supposed to be raised on pasture, eating grass, living a nice life,” he said. “America kind of lost that.”
Pascarella noted countries like Spain and Argentina, among the best beef providers in the world, still always feed their cows grass and “not a kernel of corn.”
Pascarella stressed while different approaches aren’t necessarily wrong, Marbled Meat Shop has stuck with grass-fed for the entire life of the animal because that’s what draws in customers.
“We want to see more of that, the world needs more of that,” he said.
Pascarella said while some customers know all about the benefits of grass-fed beef and were waiting for a place like Marbled Meat Shop to open, there are others in the area that are a little more skeptical. But once they try it, many become hooked, Pascarella said.
Pascarella said when customers eat large pieces of meat that don’t have the same quality, those patrons will just want more meat the next day, whether it be a burger or steak. But when someone eats a fine piece of meat, Pascarella said those people don’t feel the need to eat meat as soon the next time because they’re fully satisfied.
Pascarella noted his own grandparents still buy meat from the supermarkets, saving a buck anyway they can like most Americans from their generation. When he brought his own meat from the shop to a holiday meal, his grandparents couldn’t get over how delicious it was, calling it “the best they ever had.”
Interestedly enough, Pascarella used to be a 3-D animator and worked in New York City, which seems like a complete turnaround to his new profession. But his interest toward meat only grew when a sudden change occurred in his life.
Pascarella used to work only on the weekends and his wife would take over during the week. But in April 2015, he was laid off from his job and decided to make a complete career change. He taught himself more about the meat business and has great employees to help take the store to the next level.
“Passion definitely drives you,” he said. “We’re super excited about it, we’re sticking to our guns.”
Marbled Meat Shop is located at 3091 Route 9 in Cold Spring and its phone number is 85-265-2830.