Thursday, August 11, 2022

Teaneck—Ten years ago, Anat and Meir Best walked down Teaneck’s Cedar Lane and saw more than stores, people and traffic: they saw an opportunity. “It was 2004, and Meir was between jobs,” Anat told JLBC. “I realized there was a need for a place that would specialize in high quality fresh meat and give customers personal service. And I thought we were the ones who could do it.”

Meir trained with Anat’s uncle, a real old-fashioned butcher, who taught him all about handling and cutting meat. Within a few months, the Bests found a location on Cedar Lane and began building a team of employees trained to be helpful and friendly to customers. Best Glatt quickly became the go-to destination for top quality meat, cut and prepared to customer specifications.

The quality of beef is a result of both the grade and the cutting process, Meir explained. Best Glatt tries to buy only prime beef. Then it is cut by their skilled butcher so that each portion will have the best taste and texture. “Meat must be cut the right way; you can’t cut corners,” Meir said. “You can save money by cutting it to squeeze out another portion, but the quality will suffer. We also get our poultry 24 hours after shechita,” Anat said. “It is hormone free, antibiotic free and cage free. Freshness makes a big difference in taste.”

As a convenience for customers, Best Glatt started carrying a few more items, like dairy products. But room was limited. When the Bests learned that the nearby J&J Pharmacy was going out of business and the building would be available, they took the space and expanded their product lines. “It was like learning a whole new business,” Meir recalled. “We had to learn about grocery items, point of sale, amounts and quantities.”

The new location gave Best Glatt the ability to add cooked food and salads, prepared by their very capable chef and overseen by Anat. “I love to cook and with my Moroccan and Venezuelan background, I bring a Sephardic, Mediterranean approach to food,” she said. She also brings a keen interest in nutrition and healthy eating. “Our prepared foods are all natural, with no preservatives. We prepare for customers like we prepare for our family.” Meir added that all cooked food is donated to charity every Friday before closing.

Best Glatt recently added a selection of ready-made lunch and dinner meals, prepared with guidance from a nutritionist. “Our high fiber wraps are made with grilled chicken, turkey or salmon and vegetables. The meals are composed so you have balanced protein, carbs and fats,” Anat said. She showed me a few examples placed conveniently with the produce section in the front of the store, along with containers of freshly made soups. Customers can choose from a menu, but make special requests like low sodium, low carb or gluten free—with no difference in price. The sandwiches were originally prepared by request for The Gym in Englewood so clients could buy a nutritious meal after their workouts. Anat decided to introduce the items in the store.

Busy homemakers and employees on lunch break are grateful for the grab-and-go meals that taste homemade. So am I. After the interview I bought a grilled chicken wrap and vegetable soup to share with a friend for lunch. Delicious. The vegetable soup was so perfectly flavored, we couldn’t identify individual spices.

Listening to customers, and keeping them happy, is how Best Glatt has grown the business.

“If they tell us a product they want, Meir gets it,” said Anat. “We started getting a lot of requests for gluten free, so now we offer plenty of gluten free products as well as prepared food. If customers call or text Meir and ask him if they can pick up something even after we close, we’ll wait—or deliver to their homes.” Best Glatt delivers beyond the immediate area. Customers come from all over including Passaic, Livingston, Riverdale, Manhattan and White Plains. Meir says if he can get there, he’ll deliver.

Meir Best delivers advice as well. “Customers call for recipes or ask how long to cook our roasts, or whether they should be covered or uncovered,” Anat said. “They even call just before Shabbos to ask how to warm something up. And Meir always calls customers later to ask how they liked what they purchased; we want the feedback.”

The Bests live in Englewood with their four children. The two oldest, Daniel, 17, and Ellie, 15, help out in the store during school breaks. “We’re part of the community and our customers feel like we are family,” Anat said. “We go to our customers’ simchas and shiva houses.”

Best Glatt inspires tremendous loyalty from its customers. Talk to a few Englewood and Teaneck balabustas and you’re likely to hear them say, ‘I shop here and there, but I always go to Meir for meat.’ Anat knows why. “We support our customers and they support us,” she said.

By Bracha Schwartz

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