This is the story of a remarkable man who has dedicated his life to retail, customer service and meat, and now, he is taking his career one step further with an exciting new website aimed to educate consumers about meat. I hope you will read his story and check out his new forum, meatshop101! -Amanda
Eric Turner got his start in the meat business in high school. He had a job sacking groceries in his hometown of Crossville, TN. One day in the summer of 1987, Turner's store manager asked him to help fill in for a worker in the meat department. Never having set foot in a meat shop, he was a little nervous but was surprised to find out he found the work interesting and challenging. Slowly, he began earning the respect of the meat cutters as they taught him the cuts of meat, how to use the machines and how to work with customers.
"I really put my heart into it, and not long after, my store manager offered me a full-time position in the meat market," said Turner. "Needless to say, I took it. Over the next 20 years, I worked for several regional and national retail grocery chains including Publix, Kroger, Bi-Lo and Food Lion, as meat cutter and then as a meat market manager. I also proudly served as the meat production manager for Performance Food Group, a Fortune 500 wholesaler based in Richmond, VA."
After a long and well-rounded career in the meat business, Turner retired but quickly started missing the interactions with customers at the meat counter. Because of his love of educating consumers, he established meatshop101, a forum where the average meat consumer can go to find useful and easy-to-understand information about the meats they are buying.
"I know from experience that many shoppers at the supermarket feel butchers can be a little intimidating, so they may hesitate to ask their questions at a store," admitted Turner. "This is a shame because you really need quality information in order to make the best choices when buying meats. meatshop101 is a place where anyone can go and get this information before they head to the supermarket."
The goal of meatshop101 is provide a method for anyone to learn their meat cuts, where they come from, what to do with them, creative ways to cook them and more. Turner aims to provide this information in a way that is visually pleasing, accurate, enjoyable and easy to learn.
"My great hope is that consumers will come to think of meatshop101 as the place to go for whatever they want to know about any cut of meat," said Turner. "My goal is that they will feel they can trust this information because it comes from someone who has had considerable experience as a real, honest-to-goodness butcher! I want my visitors to never feel that they are getting stale, textbook-style information, but that they can rely on my site for information and tips they can really trust and use at the supermarket. Nothing would please me more than to hear folks say, 'Before I buy another cut of meat, I'm going to check it out on meatshop101!'"
I hope you will share this website with your friends, family and customers because an educated and informed consumer is a happy one who will continue to purchase meat with confidence down the road. Help spread the positive and delicious news about the meat we eat and tell someone new about this educational website. Thanks to Eric Turner for letting me tell his story on BEEF Daily! Now, I would like to hear yours: What is your favorite cut of beef? How do you like to prepare it? What is your favorite beef recipe? You know the drill; leave your thoughts in the comments section below! Thank you!