Progressive Grocer Independent

FEB 2016

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2016 I N D E P E N D E N T S OUTSTANDING MEAT/SEAFOOD A t Hollywood Markets' seven stores, it's all about the meat. Te stores have been trading on the reputa- tion of the being "Te Meat People" since 1950, and claim to have double the meat selection of competing stores in eastern Michigan. Hollywood Markets' meat depart- ments have 40 to 80 linear feet of display cases, with eight to 20 butchers stafng the service counters. "We've had a consistent message out there for almost 65 years now," says EVP Tomas Welch. "Te meat is the draw; it's what sets us apart. Meat is the biggest fresh category." Part of what makes the department so successful is the emphasis placed on service. Several meat department employees have more than 40 years each working in the stores, and can provide personal service and knowledge to customers. "We hang our hats on customer service and knowledge," Welch adds. "We embrace that rather than worry about the extra labor involved." Te stores bring in primal cuts as well as doing all of their own grinding. To ensure a supply of journeyman meat cut- ters, Hollywood Markets started its own training program in cooperation with the trade union. Trainees work in the stores for two years to achieve journeyman status. Hollywood Markets also is known for its value-added products like stufed chicken breasts and stufed pork chops made from lean-cut pork; both items are flled with the grocer's signature sage-and-onion dressing. One of the most popular value-added products is marinated kabobs made with beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, steak and pork tenderloin, which customers simply put in the oven or on the grill. "Te experience of our folks in our meat department is just amazing," Welch says. He's worked in the department himself; in fact, most of the Welch family has come up the ranks through the meat department. "It's the primary focus of our stores." Hollywood Markets, Troy, Mich.

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