WESTWOOD, N.J. – Before the owner of Prime Meats in downtown Westwood went into business for himself, he learned a lot from his boss.
“I had a great boss … He believed in giving people good service, and the highest quality at the best price,” said Sal Petruso, who for years has owned and operated a popular butcher shop in downtown Westwood.
Petruso, who was born in Italy, came to the United States in 1964. He grew up in the Bronx, and in 1969 he started working as a delivery boy for the iconic Jefferson Market in Greenwich Village. That is where he learned to be a butcher as well.
“We were the best meat market in New York, number ten in the world,” he said.
Petruso said he was on his way to becoming a partner of the Jefferson Market, when his boss passed away. Then he decided to branch out on his own, and open a butcher shop close to his Emerson home.
Now Petruso works side by side with his wife Kathy, and their children have spent time working at the shop as well.
“We all work as a team,” Petruso said.
Prime Meats has a steady stream of regular customers, and people come from all over for Petruso’s cuts of meat.
“You can always rely on Sal,” said Mary Jo Wilde, who recently traveled from her Pearl River, N.Y. home to purchase bone broth from Petruso.
Wilde said she has been going to Prime Meats for about 20 years. “It is hard to get a good butcher,” she said.
What's Petruso's secret to success?
"I was taught to work hard, and work hard at what you like, and you'll be successful," he said.