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Butcher's been putting food on table for 16 years PDF Print E-mail
Monday, October 01, 2012 12:20 PM


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DELPHOS—If you want to know what the most popular cut of meat is at your local supermarket, there’s no better person to ask than the meat manager. At Chief Supermarket in Delphos, that person is Jerry Beining.

“Ground beef is always the biggest seller. Locally, that’s followed by beef roast and then probably T-bones and Delmonicos,” he said. “What’s selling the most really depends on the time of year. In the summer, people are doing a lot of grilling, so you’re going to be selling more of those items.”

Having spent 16 years as meat manager, 10 years as a meat cutter and a previous 10 years at a butcher shop, Beining can also advise customers on meat preparation.

“We give cooking suggestions; sometimes we hand out recipes,” he said. “We point customers toward cooking spices and supplies to help get them set up for new meal ideas. We answer questions about food safety tips and cooking temperatures, things like that.”

As manager of the meat department, Beining does more than just cut meat.

“On a typical day, I’m ordering the meat, making sure all of the cases are working and figuring out what needs to be cut first based on what sold the day before,” he said. “I also help unload palettes and take orders, whether over the phone or in person and I promote signage for new products. When it comes to cutting the meat, we all rotate working Sundays and some evenings we work later hours and we’ll still be in here cutting at 6 p.m.”

When your job revolves around fresh meat, a sudden rise in demand can prove to be a nightmare.

“One of the hardest things is special orders from a funeral or something else like that,” he said. “Things like that are usually last-minute and you have to scramble to fit it into your schedule. When there’s bad weather, sometimes the trucks will be late. When there’s bad weather coming in, we have more people coming in and it can get pretty busy around here.”

Even factoring in the occasional inconveniences, Beining enjoys going to work every day.

“I think we all enjoy the challenges we encounter every day,” he said. “It can be hard at times because it’s a fresh product, so you have to order what you think you can use so there isn’t any waste. There’s a lot of variety in what we do here, so it doesn’t get boring. I also enjoy working with these people. We have just a handful of employees in the meat department, so you have people you can really talk with. It’s nice working with the customers, too, you see people you know and you get to talk and mingle with them.”

Beining lives in Ottoville with his wife, Sue. They have four children: Nick, 27, Troy, 24, Nathan, 21 and Rachel, 18.


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