French’s Meat Shoppe Serves Up Pure Goodness
The German sausage kitchens of Central Minnesota are certainly a long way from the Valley of the Sun, but after years of cutting meat in shops in and around the Twin Cities area, Dick Liddy had a hunch that the skills he had honed, coupled with a strong Midwestern work ethic, could translate into success in the heart of the desert.
The story of Scottsdale’s French’s Meat Shoppe actually goes back to 1969, as a small shop opened by Don and Darlene French. After establishing themselves as a premier butcher in the area, Don sadly passed away while playing golf, and shortly after his wife was looking to sell the shop. As luck would have it, Dick had just relocated his family to the area and was ready to buy. In January of 1977, he took ownership of the shop.
“I inherited it with one employee and had to lay him off within the first six months,” recounts Dick as he reflects on the struggles of those early days. “After letting him go and having to do everything myself, I realized that I had a real interest in the wholesale business, and was able to start securing some accounts that are still with us today.”
Mainly through word-of-mouth and by fostering good relationships with local restaurants, Dick was able to get things going in the right direction to the point where shortly after a decade of owning French’s he had outgrown the original space. Eventually, the shop relocated to a space near Eldorado Park, where it remains today.
Though the majority of French’s Meat Shoppe’s business still resides on the wholesale side, they have never given up on their desire to offer an amazing product at a fair price directly to the public. All of their sausages are made to order, they grind their beef fresh every night, and they never use fillers or by-products. The quality speaks for itself, as a recent poll of the top 20 burgers served at metro area restaurants revealed that four of them use French’s ground beef.
Shortly after relocating, French’s also started to play around with a seasoning blend that they’ve come to perfect over the years in both their signature Fiesta Seasoning as well as the spicy version with Jalapenos. This year, they’ve started to dry-age Prime New York Striploins, as well as Prime 109 Beef Ribs. Both take upwards of about six weeks, but the end result is a cut of meat that will stand up against any other in the Phoenix area.
One of the best aspects of French’s Meat Shoppe is that Dick has been able to keep it a true family business. Each of his four kids have worked there at one time or another over the past four decades, and most continue to play an active role in the business today.
“One of my daughters has taken over most of the office, while one of my sons works nights taking care of that shift by grounding beef and making patties,” says Dick. “My other daughter helps out with the telephones and that kind of stuff. It has all just been a really great experience.”
Dick also has a passion to keep his company involved with the community. From that very first year, they started donating hot dogs to the Scottsdale Little League, which is something they have continued doing ever since. French’s also donates hot dogs to the city for special events throughout the year, as well as chicken to some of the food missions throughout town.
For more information, please visit FrenchsMeatShop.com or call 480.949.8911.