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Into the Future


The dawn of the 1970s ushered in a new era for the family business. Emmet Sr.’s son, Gene, joined the business in 1970 with a burning mission to bring the purveyor/chef relationship to a whole new level of excellence. His singular focus was on quality and giving Michigan’s finest chefs and eateries a peerless experience.

His brother, Joe, came aboard in 1978, sharing Gene’s dream of becoming the best meat purveyor in Michigan. And they did it through good old-fashioned hard work, the kind Emmet Sr. taught them, and by concentrating all their efforts on building rock-solid relationships that would carry the company straight to the top.

Gene and Joe easily resisted the temptation to grow the business through mass production of product. There would be no such thing as pre-cutting a bunch of steak and crossing their fingers that they would sell. Instead, they had a “crazy” idea: what if they went directly to the premier chefs at the finest eateries in town and asked them, “How do you want your meat cut?”

It was a wild idea. Unheard of. Cutting steaks to order? Actually finding out how a chef wants his burgers cut, how he wants to grind his chops? “They” said it would never work! (This wouldn’t be the first – or last time “they” would say this).

But work it did. The Baratta brothers would meet with the foremost chefs in Detroit, find out exactly what they wanted, then would go back to their butcher shop, cut ’em, fabricate ’em, and deliver ’em to the chef, ready to go. As word got out about this highly specialized and personal approach to being a meat purveyor, business went through the roof.

Gene’s favorite saying was, “What your chef wants is what we do.” In other words, we weren’t here to tell the chef how we were going to do things. The chef was the boss. Every order was unique and every order had to be handled with love and cut with passion.

Quite simply, there could not and would not be any other way. It was the only way.