Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Business

Southern Steer Butcher opens in Palm Harbor

PALM HARBOR — The customers can't see it, but the business has a secret weapon: the vacuum tumbler.

The metal contraption shakes things up for the customers of Southern Steer Butcher, a new full-service meat market at 30214 U.S. 19 N.

"I don't know of many other businesses in Florida that have one,'' said Dave LaGree, who opened the business three weeks ago, along with Eric LaFleur, a childhood friend, and Greg Snyder, a former managing partner at the Bonefish Grill in Palm Harbor.

Customers can peruse a display case filled not only with handmade sausages and fresh seafood, but with filet mignon, sirloin and chicken breasts soaked in marinades with names like sweet Asian chili, cajun, garlic and cheese, and citrus chipotle.

The marinades — there are more than 50 to choose from — are mixed in the kitchen, then placed inside the vacuum tumbler along with the meat. The machine pulls out extra air, like a vacuum, allowing the marinades to penetrate into the center of the meat.

"Our claim to fame will be our marinades for sure,'' said LaGree, who said the idea for the new business came from a childhood memory.

While he was growing up in Londonderry, N. H., before any gathering his parents would head to the neighborhood butcher shop.

"The name of the shop was Mr. Steer's, and that's what we called the original owner. Mr. Steer was considered the godfather of meats,'' LaGree said. "His shop fed us for years and years and nothing compared to the marinated meats we'd buy there.''

As he got older, LaGree, a former teacher who also owns several Anytime Fitness franchises, would visit Mr. Steer's on his own.

"Actually, my buddies and I would buy the meat and eat the meat right when it was done, standing around the grill, not waiting for side dishes,'' he said.

Ever since he moved to Florida in 1996, LaGree has believed a business similar to Mr. Steer's would do well in the Sunshine State.

"With the year-round grilling in Florida, as opposed to harsh winters up north, I knew opening a place like Mr. Steer's would be a home run down here,'' he said.

And so, LaGree, along with Snyder and LaFleur, who continues to live in the northeast, opened the business at the Curlew Crossing Shopping Center.

Snyder, who holds a degree in business administration from the University of Florida, said he expects that "within a year the business will see a return on the original investment.'' The owners declined to say how much they invested.

One recent customer, Eric Schmitz of Dunedin, relayed a message to Snyder.

"I was talking to neighbors in Dunedin. There's about 12 guys looking for venison, and if you start selling it, I'll bring the whole neighborhood over,'' he said.

"Actually, I have an appointment to talk to a purveyor tonight, who promises he can get us anything, from pigeon's feet to alligator's nose,'' Snyder joked.

Joan Thomas of Palm Harbor is another new customer. "A neighbor gave me a cut from a sirloin steak over Memorial Day,'' she said. "It was marinated in some sort of garlicy sauce. It was so good. So, here we are.''

However, Thomas left before buying any meat last week. Instead, she decided to head over to Home Depot next door. She realized that before she bought any meat, she'd better buy a grill.

Piper Castillo can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4163. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

 
Comments
Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

Pinellas County commits $41.7 million to Blue Jays Stadium

DUNEDIN — The Pinellas County Commission pulled the final trigger Tuesday on dedicating $41.7 million in bed taxes for upgrades to the Toronto Blue Jays’ stadium and spring training facilities, a pledge that amounts to covering more than half of the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida’s small businesses need more skilled workers, survey says

Florida’s small businesses need more skilled workers, survey says

Florida small business owners say their top concern is a lack of skilled workers, according to a recent survey by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Workforce quality has been a recurring issue for small businesses, according to previous surveys. In th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marriott CEO: Our three-hotel bet at Water Street Tampa reflects how Tampa is evolving

Marriott CEO: Our three-hotel bet at Water Street Tampa reflects how Tampa is evolving

TAMPA — The world’s biggest hotel company already has 29 properties in the Tampa Bay area, but its CEO says a plan to put more than 1,400 rooms in three Marriott-branded hotels within a few blocks of each other says something about how Tampa is evolv...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Study ranks Florida No. 8 for most aggressive drivers

Study ranks Florida No. 8 for most aggressive drivers

If you’ve ever complained about other motorists on the road, you may have been justified. The Sunshine State ranked No. 8 on GasBuddy.com’s list of states with the most aggressive drivers."Our findings indicate that states with densely populated citi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
First curbside delivery, now Amazon leaves packages with no one in the car

First curbside delivery, now Amazon leaves packages with no one in the car

Amazon is taking the growing curb-side delivery trend a step further — now shoppers don’t even have to be inside their cars to get their items.The online retailer announced Tuesday it has begun delivering packages to newer cars with OnStar service in...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ex-Yahoo paying $35M to settle SEC charges over 2014 hack

Ex-Yahoo paying $35M to settle SEC charges over 2014 hack

WASHINGTON — The company formerly known as Yahoo is paying a $35 million fine to resolve federal regulators’ charges that the online pioneer deceived investors by failing to disclose one of the biggest data breaches in internet history. The Securiti...
Updated: 5 hours ago
The ‘most interesting man in the world’ will be tending bar in Tampa on Friday

The ‘most interesting man in the world’ will be tending bar in Tampa on Friday

"Stay thirsty, my friends," the most interesting man in the world is coming to Tampa to tend bar on Friday. Jonathan Goldsmith, the face that launched a thousand memes, will be slinging cocktails at Tampa’s trendy Hall on Franklin, the food hall anno...
Updated: 6 hours ago
So far, Pasco’s tourism base: Floridians, Canadians

So far, Pasco’s tourism base: Floridians, Canadians

NEW PORT RICHEY – The typical tourist in Pasco County this year most likely is a Floridian.But there are lots of Canadians here as well. Nearly 80 percent drove, rather than flew, to the region. Forty percent stayed in hotels, but more than a quarter...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Girls hockey could replace boys lacrosse on Pasco tourism calendar

Girls hockey could replace boys lacrosse on Pasco tourism calendar

NEW PORT RICHEY – Hockey pucks could replace lacrosse balls as the required sports equipment for the holiday tourism season in Wesley Chapel.The Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival, founded by Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, is seek...
Updated: 8 hours ago
St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

ST. PETERSBURG — The pier public arts committee is expected to decide today which artist or artists will have their work showcased in the new 26-acre Pier District. The committee, which selected six finalists with the help of consultant Ann Wykell, w...
Updated: 10 hours ago