There's a new butcher in town at Solvang's New Frontiers Natural Marketplace, and he's aiming to "raise the steaks."
“The way beef prices have been, the difference between prime and choice is only a couple bucks, so I decided that for now, at least, on the high-end steaks I’m stocking a lot more prime," said new butcher Jose Escobedo. "The customers in this area want that kind of quality, and many of them have told me they appreciate it."
Escobedo, 43, who began cutting meat 30 years ago at his father’s meat shop in Mexico, continued his pursuit in the meat business, butchering and managing at stores across Southern California — Lazy Acres and Bristol Farms stores in Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Rolling Hills, Newport Beach, Santa Monica and Encinitas — before moving to the Santa Ynez Valley from the Bristol Farms store in Beverly Hills.
“The one constant at each of the locations has always been quality and freshness,” he said. “I’m excited to bring my years of experience, my skills and all my contacts on the supply end, and combine that with New Frontiers’ high quality-control standards."
Escobedo has already assembled a team that includes three experienced professional butchers and two "fast-learning" apprentices. “We don’t have any clerks working in the department,” he noted.
"Every one of us is here to serve. We can help with cooking tips, or if you want your meat cut in a particular way, or a particular thickness … whatever someone wants, let us know; we’re happy to serve," Escobedo said.
New Frontiers Natural Marketplace is inviting shoppers to meet Escobedo and pick up a special $5 coupon for use on any meat purchase through Sunday, Oct. 17. The full-service counter is at the rear of the store, located at the corner of Mission Drive and Alamo Pintado in Solvang.
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