When you walk into The Box Meat Shop, you will be greeted by owners Luis and Karen Pozzolo.
You won’t see cases of meat, as you might in a grocery store. Instead, you will see refrigerators with different types of meat – chicken, beef, pork, bison, elk, lamb and seafood. The chicken, beef and pork are fresh in vacuum-sealed bags. The other products are frozen.
“People might not expect to see this kind of setup,” Luis said. “But we have the highest quality meat, and selling it as we do guarantees that quality.”
He said sealing meat the way they do provides a second layer of protection to the consumer.
“The first layer is from the USDA,” he said. “Sealing fresh meat is a second layer.”
Luis explained that the meat at The Box Meat Shop is completely traceable.
“That means we know exactly where the meat comes from (what farms), how the meat was processed (how it is killed) and is certified by USDA,” he said.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is required by law to provide information about meat it sells to distributors. Luis said his meat does not have antibiotics, chemicals, preservatives or color added.
“People may come in after they have fixed something from the shop and say it tastes ‘different,’” he said. “It tastes like meat.”
Luis trims and cuts the meat himself, however, the store isn’t a butcher shop in that sense of the word.
“We can’t have half a cow in the back,” he said. “Everything comes from USDA facilities.”
The Pozzolos have received positive comments on social media and are enjoying being in the community. They have a second store in Maricopa; the Fountain Hills store opened May 12 this year.
“The people have been very welcoming,” Karen said. “It is wonderful. We’re excited to be here.”
Luis has been in the meat business for five years, having worked as director of operations for a meat distributor first in Houston, then later in Phoenix.
Luis was in finance and banking prior to his work in the meat industry. He and Karen immigrated from Uruguay 18 years ago.
“We are so proud to be here,” Luis said. “We came here, worked hard, did all the paperwork and studies and earned our citizenship. We left Uruguay because we wanted out of socialism.”
Luis said he enjoys the free enterprise system in this country and works hard every day to be successful.
“How much you are willing to do will help you get to where you want to be,” he said. “This country gave us a second chance. I am what this country means.”
He said in the United States he is an entrepreneur, an immigrant and a new citizen.
“Look at me,” he said. “I have brown skin. I have an accent. But I have built bridges since coming here, and customers appreciate it. And I appreciate them.”
The couple works together in the shop. Luis said they get up early and work late.
“It is hard work, but that is how we are,” Luis said. “We enjoy this.”
The Box Meat Shop is located at 17100 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 500. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Call 480-307-6491 for more information.