• 61°

Salute to service: McLaughlin’s rolls, serving fresh cuts of meat to locals

By Carl Blankenship

carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — McLaughlin’s Grocery is a landmark. The small store has been serving up fresh cuts of meat and general goods for decades.

The store is tight, and full of classic equipment from the early and mid-1900s: meat cases, scales and meat processing tools are all well-maintained vintage pieces.

The small, local shop is part of the community framework that helps keep people fed and enjoying food they want amid the uncertainty sewn by COVID-19, and McLaughlin’s provides some special products people can not get otherwise.

These days, things look a bit different at the store. Everyone is wearing masks, it has limited hours, a senior hour in the morning and staff sanitizes the store every two hours,

Owner Harry McLaughlin said it feels like the store needs staff just to clean.

“We almost have to have someone just to do that,” McLaughlin said. “The primary things we are hitting are places where people touch.

The store has managed to stay healthy by taking precautions despite COVID-19 often knocking on its front door. Workers from the nearby V.A. hospital shop there. McLaughlin even knows a pair of customers who died due to the virus.

Brianna McCullough wears a few hats: running the register, stocking shelves, making sandwiches and making sure the store is organized.

“This has been crazy,” McCullough said. “We’ve been really busy.”

McCullough said she feels good about the work being done in the store.

McLaughlin said the community support has helped the store keep going, and dedicated customers have been buying more than usual. Store hours had to be cut when some employees did not want to stay onboard during the pandemic. The shop still has its devotees. Butcher Johnny Mann has worked in a slew of different settings, but McLaughlin’s is his favorite place to work, describing it as a pleasure to work there.

“I’ve been cutting meat for 43 years,” Mann said.

Mann said the biggest challenge for the store’s meat supply is the shortage of beef, though otherwise the product at the store has not been affected. Mann said most of the store’s products come from the state and it can get most of its products every week.

“What we do here, we have products that the average supermarket don’t carry and we don’t have pre-packed products,” Mann said. “We cut on demand.”

The store sells meat products used in classic Southern dishes like pig trotters, oxtail and turkey necks. On the morning of May 20, the store was quickly selling its supply of oxtails. Most customers who come for turkey necks get them cut in half.

“You still have a lot of people in society that like the old-style meats like pig feet, neck bones, ham hocks and a lot of markets have gotten out of carrying those particular products,” Mann said. “So we cater to people that desire that product.”

Mann noted he sells more unusual products along with fresh popular cuts like ribeye and filet mignon.

“You don’t have to eat a whole cow to know it’s beef,” Mann said. “You can come here, you can get pork chops, neck bones, pig feet, chicken, chicken feet; we even sell goat meat. We sell a product that you can’t find in the average supermarket.”

Comments

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, local groups reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT