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Story #64Moloney’s Meat MarketJersey City, NJ

I’m the only butcher shop around Jersey City now. Years ago, there were probably 50 stores, and now we’re the last one.

Across the river from the bustling, modern mecca of Manhattan, in the shadows of the financial district’s glassy new buildings, sits Moloney’s Meat Market. The family-owned business has been there since 1875, and is currently owned by Tom Moloney, the fourth generation from his family to hold the position. For 140 years, they’ve been serving up high quality choice cuts from their old-fashioned butcher shop, where meat is cut and prepared on the spot to meet the needs of the customer.

 Tom Moloney started working at his family’s shop in 1967, when he was still in high school, before starting full time in 1971. While his father ran the front of the shop, Moloney learned the ropes in the back. “I wanted to learn everything about meat. I learned how to cut everything, and then I came up front when I knew what I was doing.”

 Jersey City is a tight-knit community, and Moloney views his employees and customers as family. They’ve seen generations of families come through, and children who have grown up and had their own kids. “We’re the store that everybody knows,” says Moloney. There used to be other butchers in the area, but as larger chains moved in and started selling meat wholesale, it became difficult for the smaller businesses to compete.

 Despite the challenge, Moloney’s Meat Market is holding on to the tradition of being an old fashioned butcher, one who customers know by name when they come in, and one who they can count on for quality service and cuts. While Tom Moloney doesn’t see himself retiring — “butchers don’t retire,” he says — he also doesn’t necessarily want his own sons to take over the business.

“It’s tough when you’re raising children because you’re working six days a week. But I’m a happy guy, I have fun with the customers. That’s probably why I like this business. We laugh all day here. We have fun.”

Photos by Christina Clusiau

  • Tom Moloney works on his butcher block. He started working at his family’s shop when he was still in high school, and says, “I wanted to learn everything about meat. I learned how to cut everything, and then I came up front when I knew what I was doing.”

  • “I have fun with the customers,” says shop owner and butcher Tom Moloney. “That’s probably why I like this business. We laugh all day here. We have fun.”

  • While changes in the industry have forced many similar businesses to close down, Moloney’s Meat Market is holding on to the tradition of being an old fashioned butcher shop, one who knows customers by name when they come in, and one who they can count on for quality service and cuts.

  • “Our customers are what's kept us in business for four generations”, says Tom Moloney. “We work hard to make sure when someone visits our store they find the quality of meat they are looking for - that's what keeps 'em coming back."

  • Edward Connelly, an employee at Moloney’s Meat Market, cleans a butcher’s block behind the counter.

  • Edward Connelly gets ground beef from the display case for a customer.

  • A view from the back room at Moloney’s Meat Market in Jersey City.

  • Shop owner and butcher Tom Moloney stands in his shop, Moloney’s Meat Market, a family-owned business in Jersey City that opened in 1875. Tom Moloney started working at the shop in the 1960’s and is the fourth generation of his family to take ownership of the business.

  • Although Tom Moloney would like more free time to spend with his family, he still doesn't see himself retiring. "Butchers don't retire," he says.

  • Staff at Moloney’s Meat Market go about their morning routine in preparation to open the doors for the day. “It’s like a family,” says owner Tom Moloney. “The customers here are like family, the butchers are like family, that’s it.”

  • Moloney’s Meat Market in Jersey City is one of the areas last old-fashioned butcher shops, where meat is cut and prepared on the spot to meet the customers’ needs.

Business Details

Proprietor: Tommy Moloney
627 Newark Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306
PH: 201-653-1764 / Website
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