By Max Bowenemail@example.com
One year ago, Kathy Pereira-Vaz and Nelio Pereira-Vaz opened the doors to The Meat Bar, and though they’ve faced challenges along the way, both consider this a decision well made.
Located in North Attleborough’s downtown business district, The Meat Bar offers fresh, hand-cut meats, produce, and groceries. All of the meat is fresh, never frozen, and frozen meats have been turned away if they’re part of any deliveries. Nelio comes from a family of butchers, and proudly displays a set of butchers knives in the store. His family even owned their own store, and he hoped to do the same someday.
“I worked for a lot of companies—one day, I dreamed to have my own,” he said. “I wanted that one-to-one interactions, become friends. It’s always something I wanted to go back to.”
Kathy said her husband’s past jobs had him miss time with the family and even holidays. Though he works a lot at The Meat Bar, it’s less than before, and he’s had the chance to balance his personal life with the professional one.
“Nelio missed a lot at this job,” said Kathy, referring to his past work. “This is the time, it’s now or never. It was the right time to take that experience he had and translate that into owning your own business.”
Getting a new business off the ground wasn’t easy, especially with the effects of the pandemic still looming. Grocery stores offer an ‘everything in one place’ setup, and not everyone like to add another stop on the to-do list. Even so, the talk on social media showed a community that eagerly awaited The Meat Bar’s opening day in July 2021. Afterward, happy customers posted photos of their purchases with promises to return.
Nelio said that new faces would be in all the time—sometimes two or three a day—from North Attleborough and nearby communities. Marinated meats, stuffed meats, and ready-to-cook meals are some of the more popular items. He added that the town and its downtown organizations have been great to work with and they hope to help bring more people to the area.
“It’s really nice to be a part of that,” said Kathy. “For us, it’s the perfect spot.”
Growing The Meat Bar
Even in one year, there have been signs of growth at the butcher shop. Since opening, they’ve partnered with local breweries, farms, and other organizations to further expand the business.
Nelio said that soon after opening they inquired with Town Hall about a liquor license, and received it that December. They began working with the owners of La Cantina, a local winery in Franklin. From there they connected with other breweries, including Sky Rock, Bog Iron Brewing, and Abandoned Building, among others.
“That started it,” he said. “They (La Cantina) connected us with other brewers. It came to us real quick. We learned that working with local, its fresher. People look for that.”
In the second year the co-owners hope to continue this growth, not wanting to “stop where we are,” according to Kathy. They hope to grow the meal kit offerings, along with pot roast, stir fry, and chicken.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said Kathy. “I know it’s only a year—it started as a lifelong dream for Nelio. You put your heart and soul into it. As successful as we are, we thought that the amount of support and customers in the first year, it feels great. We feel like we did a good job and it shows.”