Today we’d like to introduce you to Luis Mata.
Luis, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
If you go to the front of our website you will see the phrase “Let the good times roll: Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times”. Ever since I was in high school, I have loved cooking, trying new flavors, textures and having different experiences but more than that I love the way good food brings people together. I am 34 now, and as I look back so many of the best times in my life have been sitting around the grill sharing a bottle of wine with people… and not even people I care about, sometimes total strangers!!
I love Miami and everything it represents, in the last 20 years this city has transformed into one of the coolest places on earth but one thing it has always lacked is good meat. I used to travel to the Midwest and any steak at the farm would be leaps and bounds above anything I could buy at my local supermarket or butcher shop. After spending twice what I should have bought a short rib plate at one of Miami’s “premium” butchers I decided to look into building a good butcher shop.
I have done quite well in my career, in fact, I continue to work in finance I love my job so I took my time, spent nights and weekends on building the initial business plan and used it to enlist two of my best friends (who are not only amazing individuals but very talented) to develop a well thought business plan.
It was difficult we thought we knew a lot about beef. Turns out, we did not. The industry is large and complicated. Getting our supply chain together took almost a year. Getting the best providers on board to work with us was tough even our concept of a butcher shop was a hard sell. But we got it done, we enlisted the BEST farms, plants and providers to bring down the best beef in the Midwest. We took a risk, we chose and develop 120 products, the best in every class and category, cut it how we wanted it and got it ready for sale. Our product arrives from Chicago on a truck on Mondays and Fridays.
We started with no money, we coded our own website, took our own pictures, we even built our own furniture. We started with a small space in the back of a friend’s restaurant, we paid him $600 a month in rent for 300 sq. ft. German (my business partner) left his job and went in full time. Me and Gabriel worked 40-60 hours a week during nights and weekends, writing, coding and doing as much as we could. What we lacked in funds we made up with effort and customer service. Eventually we opened our first boutique, we decided to make it an experience. Every customer, whether buying a $6.99 steak or a $120 steak is treated as if he is buying a Ferrari. The hard work has paid off 17 months later we are opening our second store in Coral Springs (the first one is in Miami).
We are still a start-up that does not have enough funds to do half of the things we want. We still build our furniture, code our website and take our pictures but we love it. I still spend 40-55 hours a week as a finance executive, but you will find me on the weekends and after work sitting on the shop talking to customers about Meat N’ Bone or writing in our blog.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. We have an amazing team of passionate professionals and our families have supported us all the way. However, it is hard to get a business off the ground with little money when you are competing with industry giants who’s budget for local marketing for one day is bigger than our whole operating budget for a year.
Building the supply chain was difficult. We had to convince providers to work with us. This is not an industry known for its customer service. Farmers are tired and beat up by the industry, butchers are an underpaid and dying breed.
We cannot compete in price and a million shops are selling cheap meat. So we compete with better quality, consistency and customer service. The biggest challenge is that most customers don’t know enough. so we have to educate them… which is why when you walk into our shop you do not see meat. We want to engage with our customers, show them the product and explain to them what makes it special.
Please tell us about your business.
Meat N’ Bone is a Purveyor of Premium Meats for the common house cook. If you are a chef you have access to an array of products that most mortals will never even know where to buy. We also do so on an on-demand basis, your order online and we hand-deliver to your door (you can also drop by our shops/fulfillment centers). We complement this with AMAZING customer service.
We sell Premium Quality Meats at supermarket prices. That said, we sell everything from G1 Certified USDA Choice steaks to Japanese Wagyu A5 imported from the province of Miyazaki, Japan. We hand-deliver to your door.
We have over 200 cuts of meat, all hand-cut, individually packed and from the best programs. We even source individual cuts from different programs because we believe them to be the best in class. So for example, we sell about 12 pork products but we source them from 6 different providers. It is crazy, but it works for us and our customers appreciate it.
We carry Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Elk, Venison, Rabbit, Lamb, Pork and seasonally. Stone Crab. We carry sausages and a very limited quantity of wines that we believe are the best at each price point.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Jennie, Andrea and Carolina the meat-wives. Honestly, I don’t know how they put up with us. Our suppliers who have become our friends and mentors. Scott and Ally from Ferry Farms who are amazing friends and people (Go Spartans!). Mom, Dad and our friends, some of them who choose to buy Meat N’ Bone even when they can’t afford it (even after we give them a discount) and even those who just share our posts on Instagram and FB. And last but not least our AMAZING customers who keep coming back again and again and again and bring their friends. THANK YOU!.
- Address: Miami Shop: 2267 Coral Way, Miami Florida 33145
Coral Springs Shop: 9813 W Sample RdCoral Springs, FL 33065
- Website: www.meatnbone.com
- Phone: 7864926328
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @meatnbone
- Facebook: @meatnbone
- Twitter: @meatnbone
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/meat-n-bone-miami
In the pictures: Miami – Javier Aurrecoechea (employee)
In event: Nelson Landaeta (Grill Master)