A classically trained “hoof to sausage” butcher, in 2012 Steve Ford expanded Butcher’s Best from its small, South Main Street space to the current 3,000-square-foot Highland Plaza location, renaming it Butcher’s Best Country Market.
The butcher shop/market/deli provides an old-fashioned experience for shoppers, in a country rustic setting. Natural light streams in from windows on three sides, and wooden floors — and a glowing gas stove — add warmth. Antiques from country stores and butcher shops, vintage signage, and an antique enamel Victor Duchess stove doubling as a produce stand add character to the store — not to mention, Henry the fiberglass pig, hogging the front meat counter.
It is the classic butcher shop experience that draws customers. All meats are cut on site, and are always hormone- and antibiotic-free. Shoppers know that the professional staff is ready to provide assistance on meat selection and cooking tips.
“What differentiates us from everybody else out there,” said Mr Ford, “is that the majority of our deli cold cuts originate in our fresh meat case, and the fresh meat is all cut from whole, hanging primals.”
The open air feel to the space encourages conversation between the staff and customers, throughout the store. Butcher’s Best emphasizes customer service and prides itself on staff that is equally professional and passionate about all that they do. Every customer is valued.
Prepared foods in the deli benefit from the freshest produce and meats in the store. The experienced kitchen staff creates the ever-changing menu of salads, meats, and a wide selection of main courses. Specials each week night are for hot, ready-to-go meals. Monday is Homestyle Night, with roasted chicken, meatloaf, and sides; Tuesday is Barbeque Night with a variety of barbequed meats and sides; Wednesday is Italian Night, featuring lasagnas, meatballs, pastas, and sausages; Thursday is Carving Station Night — choose roasted turkey, prime rib, or smoked ham and all the fixings; Friday is Fish Night, with a variety of fish dishes, from fried to scampi.
The produce section consists of seasonal items from local farmers and other vendors. Organic eggs are from Sandy Hook and Durham, and dairy products from Litchfield’s Arethusa Farms. Raw milk, from a small Bridgewater farm, is delivered every Thursday. Coffee from Redding Roasters is available by the cup or as whole beans.
“Fresh, local, and real. That’s what we do,” said Mr Ford.
A Sampling From The Menu:
Butcher Shop: A complete line of meats, locally sourced when possible. Hogs from Rowland Farm in Oxford (fed on acorns collected locally). Fish delivered fresh every day, always wild caught. Poultry from Georgia and Pennsylvania for best quality, always hormone-free. Small batches of “block trim” ground beef are ground daily for hamburger, or select the ready-made one-third pound, hand formed sirloin patties. Butcher’s Best is known for its homemade sausages, like the beer brat sausage, a combination of pork, special spice blend, and beer.
Breakfast: Very limited indoor seating; the breakfast sandwiches made with local eggs, store-made meats, breads from Chavez Bakery in Bridgeport, and a choice of cheese are geared for “grab and go.” Choose Portuguese hard roll, rye, wheat, or white bread.
Soup: Two soups and two chilis every day; one soup and chili for self-serve hot soup station; one soup and one chili sold chilled. All based on house-made stocks.
Salads: Choose from a changing selection of mixed greens salads and deli salads. Think picnic time with the potato/egg salad made with Yukon Gold potatoes, or Butcher’s Best macaroni salad with its signature mayonnaise dressing.
Signature Sandwich: Ten sandwiches make it hard to choose. The zesty “Angry Chicken” is a top seller: breaded chicken cutlet, house-made tomato relish, store-made bacon, a choice of cheese, and “angry sauce” — a blend of chipotle pepper and mayonnaise.
Store-Made Cold Cuts: Nitrate- and nitrite-free, from fresh cuts of meat from the butcher shop. Try the pastrami, a seasoned and in-house smoked corned beef, or smoked or roasted turkey breast from natural turkeys out of Pennsylvania.
Charcuterie: Butcher’s Best makes its own lemon and dill Grav Lox, a cured salmon. Grab a package of the Butcher’s Best award-winning beef, pork, or lamb jerky.
Goodies: Buy a whole pie or buy a slice — Butcher’s Best sells pies from the Goodie Shop in New Fairfield, along with its loaf breads and special granola bars. Always happy to collaborate with other local businesses, Sal e Pepe’s banana bread is featured at Butcher’s Best.
Catering: Pickup or full service catering, with custom menus for each event. All size parties. A two-week advance notice is requested for formal events.
Butcher’s Best Country Market, located at 125 South Main Street, Newtown, in the Highland Plaza, is open Monday to Friday, 6:30 am to 6 pm; Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm. Closed Sunday. For more information or catering call 203-364-0013 or visit butchersbestmarket.com. Follow Butcher’s Best on Facebook.