In 1932, Karl Ehmer started his first butcher shop on 46th Street and Second Avenue in New York City, NY. Due to the depression, Mr. Ehmer was forced to make product at night and work a full time job uptown during the day. Mrs. Ehmer ran the shop during the daylight hours. In the 1940’s, as times improved, Mr. Ehmer began to look for a larger manufacturing facility and found one in a German community in Queens, called Ridgewood. From this facility he manufactured products for six stores.
As immigration from Germany sky-rocketed and more stores opened, Mr. Ehmer saw an opportunity for growth – he offered partnerships to the store managers. As his chain of quality butcher shops grew, Mr. Ehmer moved to a new location in Ridgewood and built a “state of the art” plant.
By 1970, there was over 30 Karl Ehmer Quality Meat stores in existence. In July of that year, Meat Processing Magazine did a cover story based on the uniqueness of Karl Ehmer’s operation and products. When asked then how his chain of service markets does it, Mr. Ehmer was quoted as saying, “First, we produce a high-quality product. We make no attempt to be competitive in price with mass manufactured lines. Our products are made to recipes developed many years ago, which result in distinctive flavors that our customers have come to expect.” By the late 1970’s, there were over 50 Karl Ehmer Quality Meat stores, including Florida, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York.
Now in its fourth generation, the Karl Ehmer Brand remains a prevalent brand for the discerning pallet. Found in specialty and ethnic food stores across the country and at our on-line store.
As the Ehmer organization embarks on this new national strategy with its current leadership, it continues to maintain its standard of excellence. In a note from the “Crumb Crusted Ham with Madeira Sauce” recipe found in the November ’97 edition of Food & Wine Magazine, it says, “This recipe calls for a top-quality ham from the meaty upper leg. It shouldn’t be too sweet or too salty, or one that’s been sectioned and reshaped Karl Ehmer makes a superior ham using an old German smoking recipe”. In the words of Mr. Ehmer, the company remains “Still the Best Butcher on the Block”!
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