Butcher Block gets early Christmas gift

Donna Schnopp of North Elm Butcher Block chats with customer and friend Nancy Cunningham Thursday afternoon, (Photo by Hope E. Tremblay)

North Elm Butcher Block co-owner Dan Puza slices one of many holiday hams that will be sold for Christmas this year. (Photo by Hope E. Tremblay)

WESTFIELD – North Elm Butcher Block was bustling with customers yesterday, which was the best gift co-owner Dan Puza could ask for this year.
Puza said it was just like it was five years ago before any bridge or road work began around his landmark shop.
“Business is really good,” said Puza. “The first week the bridge was open we were up 30 percent, which is a lot,” Puza said. “We’ve seen a lot of customers we have not seen in a while.”
Puza said the shop is busier than ever, especially this week.
“Our big sale item for Christmas is the bone-in prime rib,” said Puza. “And a lot of people are buying our fruited holiday hams.”
There were so many pre-ordered hams that Puza created what could only be called a “Ham Wall,” which has three tiers of shelving, each holding at least 36 hams.
“This is the best Christmas the Butcher Block has seen in a long time,” said Puza. “We’re going to go through eight tons of ham.”
In addition to ham and prime rib, Puza said boneless rib eyes and spoon roasts are in high demand for Christmas, and baked stuffed shrimp and lobster are already on order for New Year’s Eve.
“And we will not run out of them, even if I have to go to Maine myself and catch them,” said Puza.
Puza is thrilled that business has picked up so much since the bridge opened. He said it was tough to stay afloat the past few years.
“It is really nice,” he said. “It’s incredible.”
Puza said his meat suppliers have been dropping off orders to keep up with the demand, and while many customers pre-ordered their holiday feasts, Puza said there is plenty to go around.
“We will be open until 3:30p.m. Christmas Eve, and if my red truck is in the parking lot, we are open for business,” Puza said.

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