Liberio began working in the meat cutting trade as a go-for in Boston’s Haymarket at age 12, learning all the cuts of beef and pork and chicken and lamb, eventually learning how to break down cattle.
Erik graduated from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), working as a chef at the Boston harbor Hotel, the Chatham Bars Inn, The Winsor House, The Coonamessett Inn, learning to make exquisite sauces, soups, sausages.
The father and son joined in a business venture, buying Richard’s Meatland next to Benny’s Plaza, 17 years ago. They renamed it Piantedosi’s. They moved up Court Street to a larger building in the heart of North Plymouth in 2000.
Liberio Piantedosi oversees the meat cutting operation. Erik Piantedosi does the buying and makes the processed food.
“It’s all done right here,” Liberio said. “We don’t buy anything processed, except the cold cuts.”
Erik buys direct from purveyors of certified angus beef, free range chickens, pork and lamb. Liberio no longer breaks down cattle.
“I can still do it,” he said. “Now there are only two places in Boston that do it. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the meat cutters got greedy. Now it’s all done out west.”
Meat not cut locally has to travel long distance. That takes time and chemicals.
“Pink slime? That’s the least you have to worry about,” Erik said. “Freshness is the most important thing, that's why we buy direct. They’ve been doing pink slime, lean fine textured beef, for years. They mix parts from various animals then treat it with ammonia. We grind the whole muscle daily.”
The shop keeps the pair and their employees busy. They do no marketing. High quality spreads by word of mouth.
“The supermarkets market,” Erik said. “They come up with new terms for old cuts. Coulotte steak is the newest. It’s just marketing the top part of a rump steak.”
The shop opens seven days a week and one or both Piantedosis are present every day. They close at 2 p.m. Sundays.
“When I got married, I told my wife, it will have to be on a Sunday afternoon,” Erik said. “We worked in the morning and went to the wedding in the afternoon.”
In recent years, Erik has taken on more hours. His father likes to take occasional vacations in Las Vegas.
“When he drops dead, it will be Sunday afternoon,” Erik said.
Liberio smiled broadly and nodded in agreement.