One can never have too many meat suppliers for the summer grill.
So when we learned about A&C Meat Co. (a name that reminds of us a "Looney Tunes" cartoon), we decided to investigate. Open since 2015, this place is no joke – it’s for the serious meat lover.
Located on Southwestern Boulevard (Route 20), A&C is owned by the charming Steve Ceccarelli, who runs the business with his wife, Tracey.
In a twist of fate, Ceccarelli, who started out as a caterer (Country Club Catering of WNY), found himself making his own sausage when the quality of his supplier declined.
It wasn't too far of a stretch though. His father Dave, a retired school teacher, had worked at a mom and pop sausage operation in Lackawanna when he was young. Father and son started making sausage. Things just went from there.
“My dad had the base recipe of meat, salt, pepper and liquid, so I worked from that to make different kinds of sausage,” Ceccarelli said.
Today, A&C calls itself a “bacon and sausage emporium,” making between 20 and 25 types of sausage (fresh and smoked) and three kinds of house-cured bacon (maple brown sugar, black pepper, hot honey).
Fresh sausages (all gluten-free, no preservatives), include the usual Italian and Polish, but also A&C's signature Tuscan, Greek chicken, barbecue pork and cheddar and even a fresh chorizo. Two of the biggest sellers are the Reuben sausage and a beef, pork, kraut and Swiss cheese sausage with caraway.
On the smoked side, Ceccarelli makes Polish, andouille and chorizo. “I’ll mess around with different types of woods to get the flavor I want,” he said.
He also makes jerky. “I go through about 50 pounds a week. But now with people camping, I make even more,” he said.
But the story doesn’t end there. Ceccarelli grinds his own meat for burgers. He can supply customers with high-end cuts for grilling such as a two-inch prime rib. Basically give him a call (and some notice) and he said he can pretty much get whatever a customer needs.
Want porchetta (a rolled pork belly stuffed with herbs)? Ceccarelli will make it for you.
Want meat from local farms? Ceccarelli can source grass-fed Angus beef from Palmer Ranch & Cattle Co. in Boston and pork from heritage breed hogs from For Peate’s Sake Homestead in South Dayton.
Ceccarelli has even bigger plans to be more like an Old World meat shop complete with a dry aging room for his meats. A picture of a Ceccarelli deli in Italy (no relation) hangs on the wall at A&C to remind him of the goal.
“It’s my dream,” he said.
Somehow, we think he’ll find a way to make the dream a reality.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the jerk chicken and mango sausage (made with Krista Van Wagner's jerk sauce) that we grilled and topped with Wegmans fresh pineapple salsa and a little more of her sauce.
A&C Meat Co.
6472 Southwestern Blvd., Lakeview (980-3018)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.