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November 22, 2010

 

Son follows in father’s footsteps

New butchering business opens at former site of Doug’s Custom Meats

BusinessJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Brian Wallace and his 9-year-old grandson stand in the meat locker of Wallace’s meat processing business in Homer on opening day of shotgun season Saturday. Wallace opened the shop on West Scott Road where he used to help his father run a similar business when he was growing up.

By JEREMY HOUGHTALING
Staff Reporter
jhoughtaling@cortlandstandardnews.net

HOMER — Brian Wallace grew up helping out at his father’s meat processing business on West Scott Road.
Forty years later, Wallace has taken what he learned and opened his own business at the same site.
On Saturday Wallace opened Izzi’s Custom Cuts, named for his daughter, on the same property where his father opened Doug’s Custom Meats four decades ago.
“He knows his business,” Doug Wallace said of his son, adding that both of his sons started cutting meat in his shop by the time they turned 10.
A Cortland Standard news article from April 22, 1975, shows Wallace together with Brian at the shop.
Doug Wallace has since moved his business down the road, although it now only processes beef and pork because he could not keep up with the amount of deer coming in.
Brian Wallace said he hopes to fill that void, providing a wide range of services, from taxidermy and mounting to preparation of various sausages and cuts of meat. He said his wife, Teresa, and his daughter, Victoria Dixon, will help him package the meat.
Wallace said he enjoys what he does, and that it is about more than making money.
“It’s more than dollar signs, it’s about the whole story with the hunt,” Wallace said.
He told the account of a hunter who had been on the way to his tree stand when he was charged at by a 475 pound boar, which ended up on the meat rack behind Wallace.
A family friend had also told Wallace the story of his grandson’s first deer when he had brought it in earlier in the day.
By early afternoon of the opening day of gun season Saturday, Wallace had accumulated five deer and the boar in the freezer.
Wallace said he will process any type of game, whether it was hunted locally or on a trip. He said he has seen a wide range of animals come through in his time cutting meat at his father’s business, including elk, bear, coyote and caribou.
“Nothing seems strange to me,” Wallace said.
When a deer is brought in, Wallace begins the process by making sure the animal is properly tagged. He then saws the legs off and hangs the carcass on the meat rail.
From there, Wallace takes down what type of cuts the hunter wants, and calls him or her when he is done packaging it. He even offers tips for cooking the meat, and other recipe ideas.
“Whatever they want, we will do,” Wallace said, adding that the summer sausage is by far the most popular.
“If they want their driveway plowed, we can do that too,” he added, smiling.
Wallace has operated his own landscaping business the last 10 years, and has looked for something to do, other than plowing snow, during the winter.
“During this time of year things get slow, so I decided to open the meat shop to keep busy,” Wallace said.
He said many people he talked to were happy he had come back to deer processing.
Wallace is hoping to eventually add another cooler to the facility, as well as a bait shop for local fishermen, but was not sure when that would happen.

 

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