New Lisbon resident Larry Althiser is carving out a niche for himself.
Althiser launched Larry’s Meats & Smokehouse at 1397 County Highway 12 in Mount Vision in late May, though he’s been sharpening his skills for years.
“We were kind of open (before) but not officially, so we just revamped the inside and added new products,” Althiser, 62, said. “I started cutting meat in ‘79, so I’ve been at it for a couple years and it’s a good trade. It’s served me well all those years, and it’s nice to do something that people appreciate. Being where I’ve been in the last 40 years — at small butcher shops, big shops, grocery stores — I picked up a lot of knowledge. I actually had a big USDA production plant in Hartwick that I sold four years ago, so now I’ve got this little shop which me and my daughter run, and I just like to take care of people.”
The shop, Althiser said, offers a mix of butchering services and ready-made products.
“We do custom slaughtering for people and smoking of hams and bacons and such like that,” he said. “In our store, I carry a full line of beef, pork, lamb and I do have chicken. I have marinated products, flavored hamburger patties and, right now, eight different flavors of sausage; I used to have 21 different flavors, so I’m working my way up.
“I actually have pulled pork in the store that I make, and I do have some seafood,” Althiser continued. “The pickle-and-onion flavored hamburgers went like crazy (during opening weekend), along with the lemon-garlic marinated chicken breasts; those are my two bestsellers. We also carry Gilligan’s Ice Cream, and people love that.”
Althiser said pandemic-induced supermarket shortages have helped spur interest in local butchering.
“Last year, people went into the grocery store and there wasn’t any meat,” he said. “I was dumbfounded; all of a sudden, I got crazy, stupid busy. I don’t have any problem getting pigs and beef. Most of it comes from a place in the Finger Lakes — the pigs come from one farm and the beef from two different farms. It’s a really, really good quality.”
Althiser said that quality and his reputation have earned him a widespread clientele.
“I’ve got people from Herkimer to Sidney, to Sherburne, Norwich, Worcester and Richmondville,” he said. “They come from all over. I was really flabbergasted at how many came on (opening day). It was a good boost for me; I was hemming and hawing about whether I should do it or not, but with the reaction of people, I’m glad I did.”
As Larry’s Meats & Smokehouse becomes established, Althiser said, he hopes to expand services.
“I would like to do Friday night takeout dinner specials, whether pulled pork or brisket or rotisserie chicken,” he said. “I do have a hotdog wagon that I use and get set up on Saturdays, with pulled pork sandwiches and hamburgers and stuff like that, and that could be rented for parties.”
Larry’s Meats & Smokehouse is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information, find “Larry’s Meats & Smokehouse” on Facebook or call 607-353-9395.