For our February Food Review, we visited John Ruggi, a local butcher that meets our needs. Yes, John has the meats and much more in his Thorold store.
John’s Meat Shop in Thorold provides a range of authentic homemade Italian foods. The locally owned and family operated small business has a loyal base of customers for their fresh meats, sausage, and take out packages of Italian style meatballs and tomato sauce. The grocery store located at 28 Pine Street South in Thorold also offers veal or chicken cutlets as well as veal or chicken shish-kabobs and many other foods.
It’s mainly because of the meats at John’s. The selection of fresh meats can be cut to satisfy each customer’s preference. This friendly, personalized service makes John’s the local butcher shop for loyal customers over the decades in business. At 70 years of age, owner John Ruggi has gained extensive experience as a butcher from the days he started sharpening his skills at a local supermarket in the 60’s. People around town in those days might remember John as a young man working at the Thorold Supermarket on Pine Street, which was located next door to his current business. Homestead Donuts and Bakery is located where the Supermarket once operated adjacent to John’s place today.
As times have changed in the food business with big box stores, one thing has been constant for John who says the key to success at their shop is the guaranteed freshness of their meats and working long hours.
Customers can choose from all kinds of fresh beef steaks, Ontario lamb chops, rabbit, chicken, and pork. Sausage links and patties are offered in hot and mild style. Generally, fair and competitive prices for the quality products make it good value when we also benefit from the expert service by a local merchant.
Family Steak Night Saturday
On my weekly shopping at John’s I usually pick up a family pack including one T-Bone Steak as well as three Rib Eye Steaks – one cut extra thick for grilling on our Steak Night Saturday. Marinated in red wine for flavouring during the day, the tenderized steaks can be grilled to perfection with spices and two turns for an exquisite dinner.
Take-out Foods for Quick – Easy – Delicious Meals
For take-out food options, do your palate a favour and try their popular tomato sauce, which is sugar free for persons with dietary restrictions or health issues. The Italian style tomato sauce is hand-made with no preservatives and a traditional recipe with natural ingredients. Their acclaimed tomato sauce is the base used for a popular Pasta and Fagioli (pasta & beans) package for take-out. Their Bolognese Meat Sauce, Meatballs in Sauce, as well as Sausage in Sauce make it easy and quick to cook a tasty pasta dinner in minutes.
On the deli side of the shop, customers will find chicken and veal cutlets as well as chicken, veal, and pork sticks. Cured meats such as prosciutto, capicollo, mortadella, and salami as well as cheeses, marinated vegetables and other specialty foods.
Specialty products such as the Zucchini Flower Fritters in season show the unique, artisanal side of the family business.
In the winter season, John’s staff makes it easy for customers like me to enjoy homemade capicollo and soppressatta. It’s so simple to pick up John’s soppressatta and capicollo seasoned and stringed together, all ready to hang in a cantina or cold cellar.
After curing the seasoned pork for about six weeks, it’s time to slice up these beauties for a tasting. Let’s celebrate the start of the spring season and have a soppressata night when the time is right.
Overall, for food buyers in Thorold, John’s Meat Shop offers a unique selection of fresh quality products with friendly personal service. It all adds up to good value for an array of foods at this small store tucked in the heart of Downtown Thorold. Yes, John’s has the meats to meet your needs