Running with the Bulls
An old-fashioned butcher shop in Hooksett
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul and Christine Andrade bought Bull Run Beef and Specialty Shoppe in Hooksett because Paul was discouraged with the direction the large supermarkets are taking in their meat departments. And he knows what he’s talking about. His first meat job was making sausages at a butcher shop when he was 10 years old. He spent his teens at another old-time shop where he learned to cut up whole sides of beef.
It was the 12 years Paul spent in supermarket meat departments that made him long for his own old-style shop. “One of the reasons I got out of the supermarkets was because they are eventually going to eliminate meat cutters,” he said. “Everything is going to be prepackaged. They have brought meat-cutting from an actual trade to something anyone off the street can do. I wanted to be one on one with the customers. Bring old-fashioned pride back to the business.”
Christine added, “That’s the worst, to go into a supermarket and ask the butcher how to cook a certain piece of meat or for a special cut. They don’t know how to help you.”
The Andrades purchased the shop in June from Robin and Paul Labbe, who now own a Bull Run shop in Hudson. The Hooksett store still uses some of the recipes and techniques from the previous owners, but as time passes, the Andrades plan to put their own mark on what they offer. One of their added specialties is a huge homemade sausage selection, with flavors such as spiced apple, Chinese, Greek, garlic and provolone, and sweet and hot Italian.
The meat counter spans almost two sides of the shop. Along with the sausages, it contains thick-cut steaks, roasts, ribs and pork chops, plus fresh-ground hamburger. Paul’s staff is happy to cut the meat to your specifications. There are marinated steak tips in flavors such as steakhouse, teriyaki, grillmaster (a sweet flavor), and super hot. Next come the marinated chicken breasts, in the popular Key West flavor (with lime and cilantro), Italian-style house flavor, Greek (with lemon and oregano), lemon pepper, and Red Sox (a sweet-sour Chinese flavor.)
“One thing that is selling really well is the marinated lamb,” Paul said. “We are going through about 60 to 70 pounds a week.”
The marinated meats also come pre-packaged for customers to grab and go. Two full-time cooks prepare heat-and-eat meal items such as stuffed peppers, lasagna, roasted potatoes, pasta sauces and side salads. In the freezer are house-made items such as pork and chicken pies, stuffed shells and lasagna. Also in the store are imported pastas, fresh-baked bread and desserts, wines and other specialty items.
Want something to eat right now? Just step through the doorway into Adamo’s Pizza, also owned by the Andrades. Christine oversees the menu of pizzas, subs, calzones, salads and Mexican selections. The half-pound hamburgers are pressed in the butcher shop, and customers can pick any flavor for their steak-tip sub. In fact, all of the meat items come from next door, as do the daily specials, such as stuffed peppers, lasagna, lamb burgers and Western-style quiche.
In both the shop and pizza restaurant, Paul said, “We try to make most of it from scratch — stuff you can’t get anywhere else. The produce is cut fresh each day. In this business, you got to keep it fresh. If I wouldn’t sell it to my mother, I wouldn’t sell it to anyone else.”