Photo by Jennie McGhan
Boston Alvord, cousin and head meat cutter for Mike Alvord’s business, prepares a hog from the cooler for cutting.
As of Monday, August 20, 2018
When Mike Alvord III learned Jim Cullen was going to quit the meat cutting business, shuttering the doors to his longtime Van Belle Road location, Alvord stepped in.
“I took over April 1,” Alvord said.
Alvord worked for Cullen years ago. His cousin Boston continued working there throughout the years.
Cullen’s Custom Meats was a mainstay, and Alvord said he didn’t want the business to close, so he purchased it.
“We haven’t changed the style,” Alvord said.
There have been services added, including the making of summer sausage, snack sticks and jerky.
There has also been a need in the community for hunters who have wild game to be cut. Alvord has decided to add wild game to the services, serving that segment of the community.
“It was always a question when I worked here,” Alvord said, noting the business is typically very busy during hunting season without wild game added in the mix.
Cullen didn’t want to venture in that direction, but Alvord decided it’s important for locals to have a local meat cutter who can do the work.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” he said, pointing to the confined space in which he, Boston, John Henry and Sam Dalton have to work.
They are willing to meet that challenge, however.
“90 percent of wild game requests are for summer sausage and meat sticks… that’s why we’ve added them,” Alvord explained.
Admittedly, not a lot of people know the shop exists at 6852 Van Belle Road. But, Alvord said, not many know what custom meat cutting is, either.
He said it is important to people who have animals raised for food. Those who purchase market animals at the fair, for example, need a place to have that animal butchered.
Meat cutting is a lesser known trade, and it is difficult to find people wanting to learn it, Alvord said.
“I knew it wasn’t only a business I wanted to continue, but the community needed it as well,” he said.
Since taking over in April, Alvord said there has been a lot of positive feedback, making his decision worthwhile.