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Butcher keeps customers coming back
Faces and Places
0909 DeLeon at the counter
Ronald DeLeon weighs some meat out for a customer at the Walthourville Market. - photo by Photo by Jen Alexander McCall
Name: Ronald DeLeon

Butcher at his family-owned Walthourville Market

How did you end up in Georgia? DeLeon was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in Florida before settling in Hinesville (He’s a military brat).

Where did you uncover your talent for carving up meat?
DeLeon sharpened his knife skills as a chef at Universal Studios in Florida and later as a chef at the Rosenhof Restaurant in Hinesville when his family ran the German-themed eatery.

Does having bigger stores nearby make your job harder? Even though larger retailers sell meat just down the road, DeLeon said he doesn't mind the competition.
“It keeps me motivated.” He adds that customers know good meat when they buy it, and they keep coming back.

What are the most popular cuts of meat? “This neighborhood loves steaks. The most popular cuts at Walthourville Market are ribeyes, porterhouses and T-bones,” DeLeon said.
His favorite? “A porterhouse, grilled to medium over charcoal with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.”

So is this mainly a butchershop, or would you call it true market?
Walthourville Market isn’t just about meat, though it sells plenty. In addition to single cuts and build-your-own family packs, the market sells various grocery items and can make you an authentic Cuban sandwich (DeLeon’s father is from Cuba).

What do you like least about this business? Despite it being his main occupation, DeLeon said cutting meat is the least favorite part of his job. “It’s the dirtiest part of my day,” he said.

What’s the weirdest thing customers have asked you for? The strangest orders DeLeon has received have been for whole pigs and whole goats, but he knows there are customers who also dine on raccoons, possums and squirrels. “I don't carry those!” he said.

What might customers not know about your market
? “We do deer processing,” he said. “And we’ll special order about anything.” See exceptions above.
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