They say there are two things one should not witness being

By Kelsey Butler '13 '14
Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It was not always Mike Sirchio’s dream to open a butcher shop; in fact he did not know the slightest thing about being a butcher.

Mike graduated from Lynn in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and again with a Master of Business Administration in 2006. Upon graduation, he went onto work for Jersey Mike’s. In just four years, his franchise development had opened nearly 100 stores across the country. Mike left Jersey Mike’s in 2010 to pursue a plan to open a bagel café with some of his partners, or at least this was the plan until he saw the “For Rent” sign in the window of the old Artic Market & Butcher shop in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.

He knew nothing about the trade; this seems like an issue to most, but not to Mike. Mike had a family friend and an uncle - both butchers - that he knew would teach him the trade. He says he owes much of what The Artic Market & Butcher is today, to veteran butcher, Andy Abeal. Andy walked into the butcher shop one day just to see who the new butcher in town was, but has ended up training Mike and his employees in everything they need to know about the industry. “[Andy] is a godsend,” Mike said. “He taught me how to put love, care, and pride into everything.”

Mike’s vision was to create a new meat store that would follow old-school rules and take the “mystery” out of meat. They say, “there are two things one should not witness being made: legislation and sausage.”  Mike was determined to change this, at least from the sausage standpoint.

People have been trained to look for the ground beef in the grocery store that says 98% lean, but Mike’s question to them is, “Where is it coming from?” His goal is to serve his customers meat that he would want to eat; that is why all of his lamb, beef, and poultry are organic and raised on farms that are cage-free, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free. 

Since so many people are “foodies” now, and Mike was from Point Pleasant Beach, he assumed this was enough of a built-in customer base to have a successful business. Mike works personally with families throughout the community to cater to their needs. He works with everyone; from the old-timer who just wants a big, juicy steak and does not care what is in it, to the mother of a daughter with an auto-immune deficiency. Mike says that he gets to know each family, their children, and their habits, to the point that his workers are already slicing their custom cutlets before they walk in.

“We’re not just throwing slabs of beef down and roughing them up. Butchering is an art. Like a painter has special brushes, and musicians have their instruments. How you cut meat makes all the difference.”

There is a new butcher in town and he is doing things right. Point Pleasant Beach has a new hometown hero.

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