Safeway-Meat Department-1961

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Jason B.
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Safeway-Meat Department-1961

Post by Jason B. » 03 Oct 2015 23:49

On March 10, 1961, a Marina-style Safeway store opened in Livermore, Calif. The March 10, 1961 edition of the "Livermore News" reported, "The Meat Department, which will feature only USDA Choice Grade Beef, which has been aged for maximum flavor and tenderness in Safeway's Meat Aging Rooms, has been set up for both service and self-service operation."

This one sentence offers a quaint view into bygone supermarket practices. Today Safeway store Meat Departments apparently are 99% self-service (with the exception of counters at some stores that package premium ground beef and sausage links for customers). "Meat Aging Rooms"? I wonder if those rooms were in individual stores or at some distribution center. A retired longtime Safeway meat department manager tells me that back in the '60s and '70s, they employed "butchers." Today's meat department employees are "meat cutters." Whereas they used to butcher whole sides of beef at stores, today they do minimal cutting and mostly packaging at stores.

klkla
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Re: Safeway-Meat Department-1961

Post by klkla » 04 Oct 2015 01:19

Jason B. wrote:On March 10, 1961, a Marina-style Safeway store opened in Livermore, Calif. The March 10, 1961 edition of the "Livermore News" reported, "The Meat Department, which will feature only USDA Choice Grade Beef, which has been aged for maximum flavor and tenderness in Safeway's Meat Aging Rooms, has been set up for both service and self-service operation."

This one sentence offers a quaint view into bygone supermarket practices. Today Safeway store Meat Departments apparently are 99% self-service (with the exception of counters at some stores that package premium ground beef and sausage links for customers). "Meat Aging Rooms"? I wonder if those rooms were in individual stores or at some distribution center. A retired longtime Safeway meat department manager tells me that back in the '60s and '70s, they employed "butchers." Today's meat department employees are "meat cutters." Whereas they used to butcher whole sides of beef at stores, today they do minimal cutting and mostly packaging at stores.
When i worked at Mayfair Markets in the early 1980's we had butchers. The cows would arrive split in half and it took about six of us to get them on the hooks and pull them into the meat department where they were broke down by hand. It was very hard work. The meat departments of today have it very easy.

The aging can now be done in store. The modern equipment used for this purpose isn't much bigger than a home refrigerator.

Jason B.
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Re: Safeway-Meat Department-1961

Post by Jason B. » 06 Oct 2015 02:27

Correction: Grand opening date of Livermore, Calif. Marina-style store was May (not March) 10, 1961.

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TheStranger
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Re: Safeway-Meat Department-1961

Post by TheStranger » 06 Oct 2015 13:50

Jason B. wrote:Correction: Grand opening date of Livermore, Calif. Marina-style store was May (not March) 10, 1961.
Does this store building still exist today?
Chris Sampang

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