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Gourmet Butcher Shop serves Fort Lauderdale foodies

Mark Small

Owning a gourmet butcher shop was the last thing on Mark Small’s mind when he retired to Fort Lauderdale in 2018. But when he searched his new hometown for high-quality, prime beef, Mark could not find what he was looking for and resorted to traveling across the state in order to buy meat. Suspecting he wasn’t the only South Floridian with a taste for dry-aged beef, Wagyu and Japanese Kobe Beef, Berkshire Pork, fresh fish, crisp produce, and the other culinary accoutrements of a first class meal, he determined to bring them to the east coast of South Florida.

“I wasn’t really looking to have a job,” he explains, “I’d just retired! But I knew there was a need for fresh, high-quality provisions, and that I wasn’t the only person screaming that there was a need!”

Cleaver and Block

So, Mark signed a lease for a simple butcher shop. Then he thought, “It really can’t be just a butcher shop…” so he added seafood, produce, bakery items… and A Cut Above Butcher & Provisions became “a destination for fine things you cannot get at a typical grocery store.”

Gourmet butcher shop
focuses on freshness

Mark describes “freshness” as one of those fine things, using the seafood department as an example. “My goal is to run out of fish every day! We will be selling whole fish, not filets. If we get a swordfish in, you’re going to see the entire fish on ice, sword and all. We’ll cut your filet from that whole fish. You cannot tell how fresh a fish is if all you can see is a filet — you have to see the eyes, the skin, the whole fish.

When you see a fish in our case, you can know it was swimming the day before
— I want it that fresh!!”


Gourmet butcher shop shares
secrets for getting the best meats

But A Cut Above goes beyond offering South Florida’s best-quality meats and provisions for sale. Mark wants to share the extensive knowledge he and the staff has accumulated, by offering hands-on training for their customers, from formal classes to simple over-the-counter friendly advice. “Did you know you can actually feel the difference when you touch Wagyu beef?” he asks. “And while bright red beef may look pretty, it does not taste the way meat is intended to taste! What you see in the middle of the meat is flavor — the more fat in the grain, the higher grade the beef is.” These “secrets” and more, A Cut Above shares with their clientele.

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