The Lobels have been purveyors of fine meats for five generations, and they have prided themselves on upholding the highest standards of quality and personal service. These standards have made their butcher shop an institution in New York, where the family's Upper East Side store enjoys a devoted clientele comprised of celebrities, prominent business executives and others who value the highest quality prime meats and attentive service. The Lobels have also made a successful expansion into e-commerce, launching an Internet business (www.lobels.com) featuring the finest prime, dry-aged beef, prime lamb, fresh veal and Berkshire pork, all delivered fresh the next day to customers in other markets.
Nathan Lobel (pronounced low-BELL) began raising beef cattle in Austria in the 1840s, and with the help of his son, later added a slaughterhouse to the business. Nathan's grandson Morris joined the family business as a boy, and in 1911, at the age of 17, he emigrated to the U.S. He eventually settled in New York, where he opened a butcher shop, first in the Bronx and in 1952 at the current location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. From the beginning, Morris Lobel was obsessed with service and quality, and he instilled this obsession in his sons Leon, Nathan and Stanley, who followed their father into the family business. Today, Stanley remains active in the store, and Evan, David and Mark have emerged as the fifth generation of Lobels to carry forward the family commitment to the highest quality standards and unmatched customer service.
For the Lobels, the rigorous meat selection process differentiates their product from meat available in most stores. Lobel's only buys USDA prime beef, which accounts for less than 2% of all beef. But within the prime beef category, Lobel's takes only the finest cuts, paying up to a 10% premium to get the best. Lobel's then dry ages its beef for four to six weeks, a process the family sees as an art, and one that can mean the difference between a good and a great tasting piece of meat. Steaks, filets and roasts from Lobel's are unlike any others on the market, which prompted a Wall Street Journal writer to note of a Lobel's steak, "It was so perfect—in looks, taste and texture—that we were tempted to eat it raw. The buttery flavor was beyond comparison."
Lobel's exacting quality standards are not limited to beef. Lobel's also sells USDA prime lamb, selecting the most tender and flavorful lamb on the market. Similarly, Lobel's only sells fresh veal that is firm, moist and velvety and comes from formula-fed animals that are not penned. And the Berkshire pork comes from all-natural, 100% pure-bred Berkshire pigs.
For the Lobel family, superior customer service is tantamount to a quality product, and their decades of one-on-one experience with customers is what sets Lobel's of New York apart from anyone else. The Lobels take the time to know their customers, earning them trust and loyal business from culinary aficionados and celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Whoopi Goldberg and Ralph Lauren. Whether buying through the web site or at the Madison Avenue store, customers' orders are hand cut to their specifications and delivered fresh, never frozen. But it is also the Lobels' willingness to answer questions and explain meat selection and preparation that keeps their customers coming back, a feature that has been replicated on the web site where people can find the Lobel's Guide To Meat, Recipes & Techniques and e-mail and telephone options for additional information.
Extending "brick-and-mortar" success to the world of e-commerce is a challenging endeavor, particularly in the field of gourmet food products. However, in launching their online business, the Lobel family stuck to the fundamental business principles that made their New York store so successful: an unwavering commitment to high quality standards and superior customer service. The Lobels insist that all online customer orders be delivered fresh, not frozen, the next day in chilled, airtight packages, and they back every order with a 100% unconditional guarantee. Lobels of New York charges a premium for its prime meats, but they also deliver on their promise of high quality and personalized service.