(Pepper.ph) Food businesses have been popping up left and right: from small restaurants joining the cozy café scene, online shops selling all kinds of desserts, suppliers of organic ingredients and free range meats, to progressive cuisine types either offering something new or just adding to the white noise. It’s difficult for one business to stand out given how crowded food has become. At the end of the day, however, reliable service and a personalized touch always keep customers coming back. Meat Depot, a recently opened wholesale and retail meat shop along Aguirre, guarantees food cuts that both restaurateurs and home residents will enjoy in the kitchen and on the table.
Meat Depot’s interiors almost appear like a giant freezer: all the cuts, pre-packaged ones, and freshly vacuum sealed meats are arranged accordingly; carcasses have their own space, all fully air-conditioned. The only thing that’s missing is ice, but otherwise all these indicate the hygiene, safety, and freshness of what they have to offer. Their prepared meats include local favorites such as tapa, longganisa from Vigan, Alaminos, and Luban, and even beef franks and tapang damulag. The local beef they sell comes from Batangas, while the pork from hogs raised in Bulacan and Batangas. These farms have had a long term relationship with Meat Depot owner Paul Richard Alcoreza, who is also the CEO of Meatworld International, Inc. Seventy-five percent of the meat they sell come from commercial groups such as the Robina Farms, while the other 25 percent comes from backyard suppliers. “We’ve been in the business for quite a long time,” Alcoreza explained. Prior to this small meat shop, Meatworld used to –and still do– supply the meats in certain supermarkets.
Residents of subdivisions nearby and restaurants along Aguirre are now blessed as Meat Depot offers what they can get at the grocery for lower prices. “ By cheap, we mean we’re cheaper than some supermarkets because we supply them, but we’re still not cheaper than the wet markets. We want to show that we have standards to follow,” corporate chef Mikey V. Presa explains. Just like the supermarket, regular shoppers can buy pork tenderloin, pork chop, adobo cut, and ground pork, but restaurateurs and chefs can also source slabs of beef and pork at affordable wholesale prices. Since Meat Depot has just opened, majority of their orders come from the nearby restaurants. Their wholesale cuts include sirloin at PHP 300/kilo, knuckle at PHP 300/kilo, silverside whole at PHP 300/kilo, shank at PHP 235/kilo, and pata hind at PHP 150/kilo. At the same time, Meat Depot can adjust according to a restaurant’s specific request.
After getting relevant information such as the restaurant’s kind of business and the location, the specifications they need are made accordingly. Presa cited one request of a former cruise ship chef requesting international standards and Meat Depot’s readiness to abide by such. “For our local cuts, the headless carcasses arrive here and then we cut them into small parts. Imported parts come in slabs, we cut them, and then we vacuum pack them with our own machine,” Presa says. Clients who also own restaurants along the same street come by as well to see how the meat is prepared: Meat Depot is transparent and allow their customers to witness the number they’re cutting the meat in and how much is placed in a bag. This personalized touch assures confidence in all customers and builds a long-term relationship for both businesses.
Apart from the local beef sourced from Batangas, Meat Depot also sells steaks from US and Australia. A distinct flavor is promised in the black angus cattle of the Black Mountain, which derives its distinguishing factor from being aged 21 days. The shop also sells a variety of prepared seafood that cater to any kind of recipe or cuisine, such as peeled shrimps, shabu shabu type ingredients, crabsticks, tempura shrimp, and scallops without the shell. The seafood is packaged properly as well so they can be frozen for a longer shelf life.
Beef, pork, and seafood seem the same wherever you go, but a business that delivers prompt and personalized service allows for a distinction. With Meat Depot present to cater to the booming south, restaurants and residents alike will welcome the possibilities that only quality meat can offer.
by: Gela Velasco