Local Flavors: Simmons Center Market
Ricky Travers of Simmons Center Market on the benefits of buying meat from a local butcher
Cut while you wait, how you like it
At a local butcher shop, meat can be cut to the customer’s liking while the customer waits.
“You could say, ‘What would be the most flavorful steak, and we could suggest a Delmonico or a ribeye,” Travers said.
A steak can be cut to optimize how the customer likes it cooked. If a customer wants a medium steak, he might cut it a little thicker, say one- to 1.5-inches.
Nail the holidays
Customers sometimes come in and order a prime rib roast at the holiday season and after it’s cut, they’ll ask how to cook it. At Simmons, one of the butchers can include cooking instructions. They also have their own rub recipe and can prepare the roast with the rub. By the time the customer gets home with the roast, it’s already seasoned, and the home chef has perfect instructions.
What about the animal?
“A lot of people will come in and ask how the animal was treated before it was slaughtered, what it ate, how it was treated when it was sick,” he said. Often, a local butcher can tell the customer a lot about the animal, and in some cases, he has seen for himself how the animals live and/or die.
“You can walk up to the butcher’s counter and answer a lot of questions your grocery store cannot answer,” he said.
Supporting local families
“As family, we love to support local [businesses] and family businesses would best,” he said. Simmons Center Market was founded by Travers’ grandfather, James Simmons, and opened for the first time on September 7, 1937. Four generations are now involved in the family business, which is located on Race Street in Cambridge.