Meet Our Family
“On August 16, 1957, Sam opened up Master Purveyors on Washington Street in New York City’s Gansevoort Meat Market. It is due to his truly unmatched work ethic, passion and unrelenting plea to survive that Master Purveyors is fortunate enough to maintain its loyal client base and respected reputation.”
Sam Solasz, President
Sam Solasz was born on May 5, 1928. He grew up in Poland with his parents and eleven brothers and sisters. As a child, his father taught him how to properly butcher meat. Unfortunately, in 1942, Sam was separated from his entire family during the Holocaust. After escaping from a cattle car destined for Treblinka (a dead camp german occupied Poland), Sam joined up with the partisans and survived by hiding in the forests where he used the skills his father taught him to catch and prepare wild game. This kept Sam and others alive. During the day he butchered and, at night, Sam fought with the partisans for freedom against the invading Nazis.
Sam emerged from the war in 1945 orphaned, as the only living member of his family. For three years following the war, Sam stayed in Germany refining his skills as a butcher. As a hobby, he became a Golden Gloves boxer. In 1951, Sam came to the United States with only ten dollars in his pocket that he earned on the very ship that brought him to the United States, The General Taylor, a US naval battleship converted to a passenger ship. On the ship, Sam got his first job cutting meat for one dollar a day. When he arrived in the United States Sam worked at the Hygrade Food Corporation until he saved up enough money to start his own business. On August 16, 1957, Sam opened up Master Purveyors on Washington Street in New York City’s Gansevoort Meat Market. It is due to his truly unmatched work ethic, passion and the unrelenting plea to survive that Master Purveyors is fortunate enough to maintain its loyal client base and respected reputation.
With the largest fresh selection and highest quality of meats available, family-owned Master Purveyors has been the backbone of the most renowned restaurants, steakhouses and hotels in New York, Chicago, California and Hawaii as well as around the world in Japan and Korea.
About 3% of all US cattle is deemed worthy enough to be graded prime by the USDA. More impressive is that half of this 3% prime is not considered good enough by Master Purveyors’ standards, and Sam is resolute in his demand to get only the very best. In fact, in the late 1960s / early 1970s when it became easier to receive meat in a box rather than swinging fresh in a trailer, he insisted on maintaining the same method of visually inspecting all the fresh meat coming from the packers. To this day, Master Purveyors still uses fresh hanging beef over the more widely used prefabricated boxed beef that has diluted the quality that used to dominate the marketplace.
Five days a week in our New York location one can see the fresh sides of beef rolling along the zip line of meat rails into the refrigerated holding coolers. There, the quality of the meat is thoroughly hand checked by proprietors Sam, Scott, and Mark. The meat is then fabricated and cut by Masters Purveyors’ expert butchers and, again, overseen for precision cutting and quality control by Sam, Scott, and Mark. It is at this point that the decision is made as to what goes to dry-aging and what gets sold fresh. Not only does Master Purveyors handle the best beef available, but we take the best beef and naturally enhance the flavor with dry-aging, a family tradition. Dry-aging is a method of allowing the beef to age and become more robust by having it spend between 21 and 28 days in a temperature controlled room where it becomes even more tender and flavorful and heightens the experience of eating great beef.
Scott Solasz, Vice President
Head of Production and Quality Assurance, Scott Solasz, supervises the daily delivery of all products. He has been working at Master Purveyors alongside his father, Sam, since 1978. Scott Solasz began his college education at C.W. Post in 1979 and metaphorically transferred to the School of Hard Knocks (Master Purveyors) in 1980. During the height of Scott’s academic study, Sam told him that during this time of growth in the business he needed a little more help. Sam explained that the family business required commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. Scott knew that he would learn more about business and economics by being infused in it, rather than by reading about it in a classroom. Scott, having the understanding and maturity to maintain the values that bind a family unit, was thrown into product acquisition, production, and fabrication, hand selection, cutting, butchering and merchandising. Market fluctuations, weather, and supply and demand became a second language for him. Today, Scott is responsible for visiting the farms, visiting the packers that harvest the cattle, negotiating the price of products and evaluating weekly supply and demand as well as production and yields. With Sam at his side for over 36 years, Scott is responsible for the acquisition of more than 100 tons of meat a week. Scott has three children, and his two sons who are currently in college have already shown an interest in joining the business.
Mark Solasz, Vice President
Vice President and Sales Director, Mark Solasz, graduated from Boston University’s School of Management in 1984 and received his Juris Doctorate at New York Law School in 1987. Even though Mark pursued a profession in personal injury commercial litigation and real estate, he was always infused in the family business. At the age of eight years old, Sam brought Mark to work, dressing him in a white butcher coat that would drag on the floor. Sam taught Mark how to break and cut meat, interact with customers and run a business. During his time at New York Law School, he continued to see customers. After Mark had been practicing law for a few years, Master Purveyors began another phase of expansion and Sam asked him to join the business and help continue the legacy. Mark, having the business and legal acumen, joined Master Purveyors full time in 1994. Sam had him visit the farms and the packers who harvest the cattle, and began training Mark on all the factors that go into the product acquisition side of the business. Having an interest in business operations and sales development, Mark became the family team member responsible for all the business requirements including union contract negotiations, employee/management control, client development and contract negotiations with restaurants and hotels.