BY FRANKIE TOVAR
Dave’s Meat Service has been a staple of the Modesto community since 1998. Starting as a custom processing operation, the business moved into the retail space a decade after opening and by 2013 its various meat products could be found at a number of farmer’s markets from the Central Valley to the Bay Area.
For many Americans meat is an essential part of their diet, so it’s no surprise that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic Dave’s Meat Service’s brick and mortar location on Blue Gum Avenue has remained fully operational. Maintaining normal business hours, the family-run business has been kept busy serving the needs of their customers, many of whom have opted to take advantage of its long-standing curbside pickup option.
“We’ve been pretty essential. The grocery markets haven’t been able to keep up with the meats, so we’ve been able to help with that,” Jenny Martin said. “We’ve definitely been busier the last couple of weeks but people are not bulk buying or hoarding,” she added.
With whole-animal processing capabilities, grass-fed and pasture-raised options and seven menu categories to choose from, customers have been appreciative of the options afforded to them in a time when many other options have been limited due to shelter-in-place orders.
“We’re a small family business and everything is customizable. We try to cater to everyone’s needs individually,” Martin said.
Some of those options present themselves in traditional cuts of beef, pork and poultry while others are more unique, like jerky,sausages, snack sticks and Wagyu beef bulk packs.
“Our sausages, beef jerky and snack sticks are really popular in terms of things you can’t get anywhere,” Martin said. “As far as recent orders, we have had a lot of people requesting half beef, which is half a cow.” There are also monthly specials with April’s special consisting of three pounds of ground beef, two pounds of breakfast sausage, four pounds of pork butt, three pounds of chicken breast, three pounds of bacon, three pounds of pork chops, two packs of house-made sausage links and a rack of baby back ribs –all for $99.
Although it may seem Dave’s Meat Service has made it through the pandemic unscathed, its catering and farmer’s market business has taken a hit, making their role in the Modesto community as a reliable butcher shop invaluable.
For those looking for locally-sourced meats, orders can be made online at DavesMeatService.com or by phone at 209-527-2861 with a 24 to 72-hour pickup window depending on the order.