Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors

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Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors
Industry Food processing
Founded 1964
Headquarters North Bergen, New Jersey, USA
Key people
Pat LaFrieda Jr. (CEO); Mark Pastore (President)
Products Meat
Revenue US$40 million [1]

Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors is a third generation meat wholesaler based in North Bergen, New Jersey that specializes in dry-aged steaks and artisanal burger patties but also supplies selected cuts of beef, pork, poultry, veal, lamb and buffalo.[2] The company is responsible for the famous “Black Label Burger” at Minetta Tavern, as well as other signature custom blends at New York City restaurants such as Shake Shack, Spotted Pig, Union Square Café, Blue Smoke and Market Table.[3]


Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors began when Anthony LaFrieda (Pat LaFrieda Jr.’s great-grandfather) immigrated to the United States from Naples, Italy in 1909 and opened a butcher shop in Brooklyn, New York in 1922. In 1950, Pat LaFrieda the First and his brother Louis LaFrieda took advantage of a meat worker’s strike and opened “LaFrieda Meats” in New York City's meatpacking district on West 14th Street. In 1964, Pat LaFrieda the first and his son Pat LaFrieda the second (known today as Pat Sr.) took full ownership over LaFrieda Meats and changed the name to Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. As business grew, the shop changed locations several times (from West 14th Street, to Little West 12th Street, and then to Bleecker Street) but finally settled on Leroy Street (also known today as Pat LaFrieda Lane) in 1980.[4]

In the following decade, the company’s economic condition began to decline as the restaurants that Pat Sr. did business with either closed down or decided to buy their meat supplies from larger meat companies such as Sysco. Fortunately, the company was able to turn itself around when Pat LaFrieda Jr. (Pat Sr.'s son) took over the company in 1993. Previously working as a stockbroker, Pat Jr. used his business knowledge to revive the company.[5] He forged new relationships with restaurants, invested half of the company’s profits back into the business, and purchased new equipment that led to higher efficiency.[6]

In 2010, the expanding company moved to their 36,000 square-foot meat butchering and processing facility on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, New Jersey. Now they also supply restaurants in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago.[7] It is now run by Pat LaFrieda Jr. (CEO), his father Pat Sr., and his cousin Mark Pastore (President).

Rise to Fame[edit]

Although Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors have always had a respectable reputation in the meatpacking industry, they were still relatively unknown. It was not until the early 1990s−−when Chef Mario Batali made Pat LaFrieda’s company the primary provider of his restaurants−−that they began to receive more attention. As Mario Batali gradually rose to prominence, restaurateurs such as Danny Meyer (owner of Shake Shack) also decided to choose Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors as their main meat supplier.[6] In 2004, when Shake Shack started serving Pat LaFrieda’s custom burger blend, both the restaurant and the meat company became famous.[8] Since then, the company has become quite popular as Pat LaFrieda Jr. began to appear on television shows such as Martha Stewart, ABC News Nightline, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods, and The Mike Colameco show on PBS.[3] The New York Magazine has even dubbed Pat LaFrieda Jr., “The Magician of Meat”.[9] On April 4, 2012 the meat supplying company debuted in a reality show on Food Network called “Meat Men”.[10] The show documents the inner workings of the company and follows Pat LaFrieda Jr., his father Pat LaFrieda Sr. and his cousin Mark Pastore through their work. Besides appearing on television, the company has also had a mobile-app developed for them by the Emmy-Award winning production company, Zero Point Zero.[11]


Inside the facilities of Pat LaFreida Meat Purveyors are “two dry-aging rooms that house 5,000-6,000 (sub) primal cuts of meat (the equivalent of over 80,000 steaks)” .[3] They also own multiple grinders that produce 100,000 burgers every night.[12] Because the company operates 24 hours a day, six days a week, Pat LaFrieda Jr. claims that the company is able to “process meat that feed over 300,000 people a day.[3]” They also cater to about 500 restaurants, most of which are located in New York City.[13] To meet the needs (for burger patties) of these restaurants and other customers, Pat LaFrieda Jr. works with restaurants to produce customized burger patties that contain varying percentages of fat combined with brisket, chuck, short rib, and skirt steak.[14] So far he has come up with 25 - 30 distinct blends of burger patties with hundreds of additional variations available. One of the many restaurants that follow this combination is Minetta Tavern, which uses an 80/20 lean meat to fat ratio for their burgers.[15] The extensive operation of Pat LaFreida Meat Purveyors is what brings in more than $40 million in annual revenues.[16]


In April 2012, Pat LaFrieda sent a cease-and-desist letter to the fast-food chain, Wendy’s after it decided to use the name “Black Label Burger” for one of its products. LaFrieda had already claimed the name after it created the customized hamburger patty for Keith McNally's Minetta Tavern.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Collins, Glenn (23 March 2010), "Beef From Creekstone Farms Impresses New York Chefs", The New York Times, New York, NY 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d About Us, retrieved April 4, 2013 
  4. ^ Pat LaFrieda Angus Beef, US Foods, retrieved April 4, 2013 
  5. ^ "Alumni Profile: Pat LaFrieda '89". PolyPrep Country Day School. September 25, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Ozersky, Josh (January 2010), "The Meat Department: Beeve it to Cleaver", Edible Manhattan, New York,NY 
  7. ^ Gould Keil, Jennifer (5 July 2012), "Meaty roles for celeb butchers", The New York Post, New York, NY 
  8. ^ Severson, Kim (7 July 2009), "Young Idols With Cleavers Rule the Stage", The New York Times, New York, NY, p. 1 
  9. ^ Amsden, David (28 March 2010), "The Magician of Meat", New York Magazine, New York, NY, p. 4 
  10. ^ Sidman, Amanda (2 April 2012), "Meat wholesaler Pat LaFrieda has a lot on his plate – and now a TV show, too", New York Daily News, New York, NY 
  11. ^ Zero Point Zero Whets Your Appetite With Pat LaFrieda's Big App for Meat iPad App, New York, NY, The Free Library, 14 December 2011, retrieved 4 April 2013 
  12. ^ Johnson, Tory (December 5, 2012). "The Family Behind the Country’s Best Steaks and Burgers". Yahoo!Finance. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ Furlan, Julia (16 May 2012), Pat LaFrieda makes ‘High Steaks’ TV, New York, NY, Metro, retrieved 4 April 2013 
  14. ^ Amsden, David (28 March 2010), "The Magician of Meat", New York Magazine, New York, NY, p. 4 
  15. ^ Spiegel, Rachel (April 28, 2011), Mark Pastore and Pat LaFrieda of LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, Eater NY, retrieved 4 April 2013 
  16. ^ Collins, Glenn (23 March 2010), "Beef From Creekstone Farms Impresses New York Chefs", The New York Times, New York, NY 
  17. ^ "LaFrieda: Grind’s mine!", New York Post, New York, NY, 9 April 2012 

External links[edit]