One of my favorite memories as a child was my grandpa taking me by the hand and heading to Waniewski’s, the neighborhood butcher shop, on the corner of Dexter and Lagrange. It was always a big deal to get the Sunday beef roast or the holiday ham and kielbasa from Frank Waniewski. It was all about personal service, quality and pride in your product.
Being of Polish heritage myself, my family began making their own kielbasa. Story has it that a well-known caterer on Lagrange St. gave our recipe to us. With tweaking of our own over the years we became pretty proud of our homemade sausage. Even as youngsters my brother, sister and I took part in this tradition and little did I know how much this past time would help shape my future.
I started my meat career in 1978 as I began the first of my 28 years in the meat department of a supermarket chain. These large stores brought the end to the neighborhood meat markets because you could purchase the same quality with even more variety. It became a one stop shopping experience where you could obtain all of your grocery needs. Many of these large stores evolved into “mega” stores expanding to offer everything from electronics to clothing. This growth helped with the demise of the supermarkets that didn’t offer coffee tables and car tires. In the meat departments, less emphasis was put on quality and service with more and more meat being cut and ground off site and just try to get someone knowledgeable about a cut of meat to help you after 4:00pm when staff is cut to bare minimum. I knew I couldn’t be the only one missing the days of a personal shopping experience in a neighborhood store. And so the dream of owning my own store began.
I gained invaluable experience in my 28 years in a growing chain’s meat department. Variety of cuts, food safety and cleanliness, and importance of a staff that feels like family are just to name a few. I also gained an invaluable piece of my life, my wife Kim, who also has 15 years of experience in the meat department. Her areas of responsibility included merchandising, ordering and opening new stores for the chain. We have worked together for several years developing and creating what is now Zavotski Custom Meats & Deli. We wanted to get back to what was important to my grandpa during those visits to the neighborhood meat market: personal service, quality and pride in what we are passing across the counter to our customers. We believe that we have done that and we hope you do also.
Zavotski Custom Meats & Deli, located at 2600 West Sylvania Avenue Suite 101 in Toledo, Ohio is family and locally owned. We were established in 2007 as an American meat market of Polish heritage. Zavotski's takes pride in offering old-fashioned, over-the-counter butcher shop service and selection. We carry everything from Angus Choice Steaks, home-made kielbasa, party trays, Polish specialty items, spiral sliced hams, freezer items, salads, luncheon meats, produce, custom cakes, baked goods, to dairy items, plus all the extras you need to build a complete meal.