Monday, November 29, 2010
Meat market opens
By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
We’ve all heard that the family that plays together, stays together. The Bolling family, who own and operate Moran Locker, know the same is true of work.
The family recently unlocked the doors of their newest venture, Bolling’s Meat Market, at 201 S. State St. in Iola.
Family members Sharon, Seth, Cara and Mitch Bolling, plus Lucciano Cardona, will run the retail market.
Business hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours may expand as business dictates.
The store opened quietly Saturday, but plans are for a grand opening sometime soon, Sharon said.
Available are retail packages of beef, pork and chicken, along with specialty meats such as tongue, liver, heart and fresh side, Sharon said. “We had a lot of people ask about those,” she noted.
Unlike a grocery meat counter, everything will be packaged fresh in-store, Sharon said.
“We will cut to order,” Cara said. Pork chops, for example, can be purchased as 1 inch, 1 1/2 inch, or any other preferred thickness, she said.
Ground beef, chops, steaks, chicken and various cuts of beef will be daily staples.
“It’s just like an old-fashioned meat market where you go to the local butcher every day and choose what you are going to fix,” Sharon said.
For those who don’t feel like cooking, cold cuts, deli meats and cheeses will also be available for purchase by the pound.
The selection of meats will vary somewhat day to day, but always be fresh, Cara said. In addition, people can order the popular Moran Locker meat bundles.
“It’s the exact same bundle for the exact same price,” Cara noted.
Meats in the bundles are double-wrapped and quick frozen for freezer longevity, Sharon explained. “A year from now, you go to open that package and it’s just as red and fresh as it is today,” she said.
Meats are packaged in usable portions, she added. “You don’t get one 12 pound chub of ground beef, you get six two-pound packages of ground beef. It’s designed for one meal for two, four or six people,” she said of the portion sizes.
As much as possible, meats will be raised locally.
“We really believe in buying local, eating local and getting the freshest product you can,” Cara said. Plus, she added of buying locally, “It’s good for everybody. It keeps your neighbors employed.”
THE IOLA store marks the fourth generation of meat cutters and processors in the Bolling family.
“Our grandparents,” Chub and Helen Bolling, “own Bronson Locker,” Cara said. Before that, Chub’s father Ted was a traveling butcher and butchered for Bronson locker as well, Sharon said.
Meat will not be butchered at the Bolling’s Meat Market. That will still be done in Moran, and in Bronson for fowl, Cara said.
Seasonally available meats will include smoked turkey and pit hams, also called holiday hams, Sharon said. Regular smoked hams will be available year-round, she added.
Other offerings include beef bones for pets or soup stock, Cara said. “They’re cut straight from the animal and put in the bag,” she said.
“We’ll also be selling Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes,” Cara said. The cheesecakes, which weigh 10 pounds, are available whole and are sold frozen. Flavors will vary on a daily basis, Seth noted, and will be offered at half the price they would be at the Cheesecake Factory itself, thanks to the fact that Cara and Cardona, both former Cheesecake factory employees, were able to secure bulk pricing on the treats.
And, “After the first of the year, we’ll get a food service license which will allow us to serve deli sandwiches and cheesecake by the slice,” Cara said.
THE BOLLINGS spent about three months remodeling the location, which had been vacant since 2008.
“Everything’s brand new,” Cara said. “The only thing we kept was the floor tile and we had to replace some of them. We’ve done work with the refrigeration and put in blinds to keep the building cool.” A ventilation system was added to siphon heat produced by the many freezers in the store. A tin style ceiling was added as well.
“Every inspection is done, everything passed,” Cara said.
The building — bigger inside than out — is conveniently located at the corner of Madison and State streets. The location should serve to bring in customers, Sharon said, noting some customers in Moran drive from as far away as Kansas City, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
To serve such distance customers better, Bolling’s Meat Market will begin offering Internet sales in the spring.
“We will be able to ship nationwide because all of our product is Kansas state inspected,” Cara said. “Our goal is for you to be able to order online and ship it to your home.”
The overall goal of Bolling’s Meat Market, Seth added, is simple: “Quality products at quality prices.”
Cardona offers bilingual service, Spanish and English, for clients as well, Sharon said.
The number for Bolling Meat Market, active after Oct. 23, will be 365-MEAT. The fax number, currently working as a phone line, is 380-6070.