A new butcher shop, called Cow Palace, has opened its doors, replacing Dean's Country Market in Westhampton Beach, which had been in the upscale meat business for 31 years.
The 1,000-square-foot Westhampton Beach shop, located on Mill Road, is the fifth retail outlet store that owner Tino Masotto's family has opened — Their flagship, 10,000-square-foot enterprise is located in Rocky Point with other stores in Middle Island, Moriches and Patchogue.
The first Cow Palace was opened by Masotto's father, Jerry in 1976 in Middle Island. Tino said he started working at the family business when he was 12-years-old and took over when his father retired.
Renovated with shiny new display cases, Cow Palace of Westhampton Beach is offering quality meats, Boar's Head products, groceries, and a variety of prepared foods at the same prices or less than local supermarkets and considerably less than Dean's former market, according to Masotto, who said when looking for a new location, he saw opportunity in Westhampton Beach after realizing there was nowhere for local families to buy reasonably priced meat except at .
Keeping prices low in an economic downturn is about volume, said Masotto.
"We can sell chicken cutlets for $1.99/lb year-round because we sell 20,000 pounds a week through our retail stores plus a wholesale business that markets to restaurants, hotels, schools and country clubs," he said.
Masotto says he opened the new location knowing that Westhampton Beach is a seasonal community, but he said he figures that people are going out to dinner much less or not at all and instead will purchase meats to cook at home.
For $100 to $150, shoppers can buy two weeks of meals, equal to what it would cost to dine out at a good restaurant, he said.
Each week, he said he will feature a steak special and currently, he is offering $5.99/lb for bone-in ribeye that's normally $10/lb.
"And it's soft as butter," he said.
In addition, he said he is offering bi-weekly deals. Right now, if a shopper spends $35, they receive a free four-pack of store-made chicken burgers.
At , a quality butcher in nearby East Quogue, which has been in business for over 20 years, owner Michael Mattera welcomes the competition and believes it's good for business.
"We offer the personal, one-on-one touch; we have a wonderful following," he said.
At Cow Palace, Masotta said he is intent on gaining the trust of the local community.
"The people who send their children to school here," he said.