While PSEG Long Island was scrambling to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers Wednesday, help came from an unexpected source. Farmingdale Meat Market emailed thousands of its regular customers with this urgent message:
“We have power and can help!!! If you lost power, bring us a box of food with your name on it and we’ll store it for you in our freezers until the power comes back on.”
Kent Seelig, who owns the store with his son, Lee, said Thursday that the butcher shop made a similar offer after superstorm Sandy. “It’s about being part of the community,” he said. “We’ve been here since 1946 — I have customers who come in and tell me that my father used to give them pieces of baloney when they were children."
Wednesday, he said, “I told Lee — we have plenty of room in the freezer and in the trailer out back. Why should people throw stuff out?” And so Lee did an email blast.
People started showing up with boxes and, in some cases, garbage bags. “One guy called and said, ‘How much can I bring?’” Lee responded: “Well, hopefully you can lift it.”
At the time the offer was proffered, the Seeligs indeed had plenty of room but, 24 hours later, they had run out. You might still want to visit the shop, though: from Friday through Saturday, prime porterhouse steaks are on sale for $13.49 a pound, about half their normal price.
Farmingdale Meat Market is the retail arm of Main Street Meats, one of Long Island’s biggest wholesale meat suppliers whose customer base is, largely, restaurants. Kent figures that wholesale business is off by about 30% since the beginning of the pandemic. The retail store doesn’t come close to making up the difference in terms of sales but, he said, “it keeps us busy and it means we haven’t had to lay anyone off.''
Farmingdale Meat Market is at 210 Main St., Farmingdale, 516-249-8200, mainstreetmeats.com
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