Dinosaurs are still alive. The meat market is a dinosaur.
If you own a meat market today, you have to work hard to keep it alive. If you are a customer, you will notice the appreciation from the owner when you visit his meat market.
Greg Jones is the owner of LB’s Meat Market, located across the street from Kroger, the oldest meat market in Oxford.
“The original plan for the meat market started with Bud Cunningham, a graduate of Ole Miss,” Jones said. He added. “Bud and his wife were celebrating their anniversary and went to Kroger looking for steaks, but it happened that Kroger did not carry any steaks at that time, so he was like ‘Oxford needs a meat market,’”
Today, in LB’s Meat Market, you can buy fresh steaks, homemade smoked sausages, fresh seafood delivered on Mondays and Thursdays. You can also buy double-loaded baked potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed jalapeno peppers wrapped with bacon, and many more goods.
LB’s Meat Market is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. However, the meat market business is not easy.
“A meat market is an exclusive thing,” Jones said. “I am calling it a dinosaur because eventually we will have to close, and I am going to keep trying my best to keep it open, but there is only so much we can do.”
Jones calls the meat market a dinosaur because people do not go to exclusive meat markets to buy their meats today. They would rather shop in stores like Kroger and Walmart, and buy everything from their grocery list at one stop.
“The meat market is for people who like to cook at home,” he said. “Some people would rather get a good steak and buy a bottle of wine rather than go to the Square, fight for parking, reservations and wait just to eat for about 45 minutes,” he added.
These kinds of people are the majority of customers of LB’s Meat Market. For this reason, there is no wonder it has been a challenge keeping Jones’ business alive. LB’s Food Truck has helped.
Todd Abbott and Jones co-own LB’s Food Truck. He and Greg got to know each other while playing golf twice a week.
“Greg is a food guy, and my background is in medical sales, and we kind of combined the two,” Abbott said. “Over the summer, we found a good trailer in Arkansas, got the game plan together, and started it out in December.”
That is when LB’s Food Truck was born.
The idea behind LB’s Food Truck is to promote LB’s Meat Market by allowing its customers to purchase fresh, ready-to-eat products that LB’s Meat Market sells daily.
“So far, the trailer has been very successful,” Abbot said. “We are doing late nights on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and pop-up lunches around the town. The good thing about the food truck is that the menu is flexible. Having Greg’s meat market on our side helps a lot. You name it, and we can throw a menu together.”
What makes LB’s Food Truck so unusual is that you get to pet two Golden Retrievers, Jack Jr. and Minnie Pearl, while waiting for your food.
“I brought my Golden Retrievers along, and that has been a really big success,” Abbott said. “People stop by and play with the dogs and want to get food. Now, it kind of became a thing. I am leaving the bar. Let us go play with the dogs and grab something to eat.”
Who can walk by two beautiful Golden Retrievers and not stop? Ole Miss students usually do not have their family pets here, so when they see Jack Jr. and Minnie Pearl, they light up.
“The food truck is great,” he said. “It really helped me out as far as giving the freshness to the business. I was getting burned out just cutting steaks and doing all kinds of things like that.”
If you ever see two Golden Retrievers hanging out in the back of a pickup truck, you probably will notice LB’s Food Truck right next to it.