Arctic Foods Specializes in Quality Meat for 65 Years

Butcher Richard “Rick” Hall works behind the meat case at Arctic Foods Meat Shoppe and Specialty Market.

Layla Tomasula

Butcher Richard “Rick” Hall works behind the meat case at Arctic Foods Meat Shoppe and Specialty Market.

Layla Tomasula, Staff Reporter

Arctic Foods Meat Shoppe and Specialty Market, 251 E. Washington Ave., markets itself as a perfect place to buy quality meat and healthy food. It is an old-world- meets-new-world butcher. This is the business’ 65th year running.

All of the meat sold at Arctic Foods, open seven days a week, is free of antibiotics, steroids and hormones. All of the burgers and sausages in the meat case are made and packaged by hand.

Beef, poultry and pork are available, but there is also ground elk and buffalo, as well as elk and buffalo burgers. Lamb is available in sausage, and whole pieces can be ordered. Duck bacon, whole rabbit, venison cutlets and more can be purchased, too.

The cows are Piedmontese Breed and come from Nebraska. They are naturally double muscled and lean. All of the poultry is air-chilled, meaning there is no flash-freezing process and no chlorine water bath.

Bread, pasta, crackers and more are available gluten free. There is lactose-free cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream. Locally made ravioli and pasta can also be found.

Vegetables and fruits are also sold, along with salad packs, fresh ginger, peppers, mushrooms and cauliflower. Options include salads like mozzarella and cucumber, kale, cucumber and ranch, and green bean almondine.

A cooked-food case features handmade food prepared by Deborah “Debbie” Frank, Arctic Foods’ cook.

Some of the pastas are Greek, antipasto tortellini, deviled egg and capellini with Asiago cheese.

Other foods, like lasagna, roasted potatoes, stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes, are available.

One of the most popular prepared foods would be the chicken salad, which is gluten free.

The Meat Shoppe began with the Rossi family. Ezio Rossi originally opened the business in 1956. Arctic Foods started as a “food finance” company. The business would sell people a freezer and the meat to go inside of it. During this time the business focused more on wholesale purchases. Rossi would go door to door during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s to distribute packages to families. The customers would pay for the food in installments.

Mark Rossi, Ezio’s son, bought the business and is now the senior managing partner. Amanda Rossi-Logan, Mark Rossi’s daughter, is the managing partner. Christopher “Chris” Rossi, Mark’s son, is a butcher with more than 10 years of experience.

Arctic foods has always been a butcher and processing facility. But with Wal-mart and Shoprite affecting the freezer business, Mark Rossi opened the retail store in 2001. Mark Rossi opened and evolved the store to the “individual needs of customers”- Amanda Rossi.

The store started with “very humble beginnings,” said Amanda Rossi-Logan. Arctic Foods picked up business from local farms, custom butchery, and private labeling, with meat processed under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. This allows farmers to legally bring their meat to farmers markets. Arctic Foods meat is distributed by private food service companies to restaurants.

There is even a rewards program for shoppers. All that is needed is a name and a phone number. Customers get constant 2% cash back on all purchases. That 2% cash back is money off for the next purchase.