By Mark Ambrogi
Joe Lazzara figures his butcher shop has had a strong run, and now it’s time for the next step.
“They say a business is successful if it survives three years or five years,” said Lazzara, co-owner with his wife Kathy of Joe’s Butcher Shop and Fish Market, 111 Main St. Carmel. “Now we’ve been here 10, and we’ve really become a gathering place for the community. Folks in Carmel, Westfield and northern Indianapolis meet on Saturday mornings and talk in the butcher shop. It’s become a community staple. We’re proud of what our employees have done to bring us to this point.”
Now the time is right to expand. He will open Joe’s Next Door, a 900-square foot space connected to the butcher shop, later this month or in early August.
“We started making lasagna, chicken pot pies and beef stew,” Lazzara said. “Everyone loved them so much. We thought maybe we should expand and open up a gourmet sandwich shop that also does prepared meals.”
Lazzara said they will provide catering for offices for lunches.
With more people living and working near downtown, Lazzara said he expects customers will be seeking to-go meals and sandwiches.
“We’ll have nice array of prepared meals and rotate three or four a week,” he said. “We’ll have sides, desserts and salads. Our customers can take home a meal and heat it up. We’re going to put a kit together where you grab it, take it home and make your own meal at home from scratch.”
Lazzara has a full-time, three-chef team, led by head chef Jon Radford, who was previously a chef at a small Geist restaurant. The other chefs include a sous chef and one with bakery experience.
“They’ve all got wonderfully different skills,” Lazzara said. “Everything we’re doing from the bread we’re putting on sandwiches on to 19 different condiments we’ll have on gourmet sandwiches, are all made in house. We’re roasting our own turkey, our own roast beef and ham.”
There will be six hot sandwiches, six to eight cold sandwiches and vegetable options.
Lazzara plans to increase the amount of produce in the store. Silverthorn Farms will provide the produce.
For more, visit joesbutchershop.com.