King Solomon Foods is a family owned wholesale meat operation that’s been in business in Brooklyn since 1938, making them one of the oldest wholesalers to distribute in the city. They serve restaurants, supermarkets, country clubs, delis, you name it… from all over New York City to all the way out in eastern Long Island. Even some of the biggest named steakhouses in the area get beef from King Solomon Foods. These were all going to Peter Luger’s.
Here – take a closer look at some of these beauties:
In addition to Luger’s, they’ve also supplied places like Ben & Jacks, Old Homestead and Primal Cut in Manhattan. Some places even hand pick their meat in the facility.
Last weekend, Grant Siegel, Vice President of Sales, gave me a tour of the King Solomon facility, which is located on the water in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Grant represents five generations of the family business. As a former college football athlete from Colgate, his competitive nature is an asset to the company. He’s young, just 23, and he’s aggressively marketing and selling their high quality meats with the goal of making King Solomon a transcendental force in the game.
There’s no quit in him. He’s up at 3:00am every day and working until 9:00pm, and even putting in weekend time, as he was there showing me the facilities on his “day off.”
You probably noticed that massive slab of beef hanging behind us there in that last photo. Here it is all by itself:
Not many purveyors in the city are getting fresh carcasses like this anymore. There are maybe four of them. Most places are bringing in boxed beef and then further portioning that out for their customers.
One very important thing I learned from Grant on this visit was how much of a difference a fresh carcass makes in the final product for consumers. Take a look at this photo:
Both short loins had been aged for eight days at the time. The one on the right was cut by King Somolon’s butchers directly from a fresh carcass, right there on premises. The one on the left is boxed beef. Boxed beef comes off the fabrication floor at slaughterhouses and is then sealed up in bags and sent out to distributors in boxes. Distributors then break the beef down further depending on what their customers want (restaurants, delis, catering halls, etc). The difference in color and fat quality is staggering. The fresh beef will have a much better flavor from the aging process. But I was blown away by how dark and aged it looked after just eight days.
Speaking of dry aging, take a look at this nice room. Lots of good spacing and great air flow. To me, this is a treasure trove, and it’s probably worth about $100,000!
As the business continues to grow, Grant says that they plan to open up a second, much larger dry aging room off the back of the facility. Take a look at some of the beautiful pieces that were aging when I was there:
Grant personally doesn’t like to push the aging past 28 days, but here is a rack of 50-day dry aged ribs:
Almost everything I saw was stamped as Prime, and the smell of these short loins, especially the ones that were cut from fresh carcasses, was amazing.
But short loins and rib racks aren’t all they supply, despite the fact that they’re cutting between 500 and 600 steaks a day. There’s lamb, veal, and tons of other cuts of beef. Watch:
There’s a Kosher division, and they even grind their own burgers from trim. There are several different blends that they market. They do dry aged burgers, a “Brooklyn” burger (the official burger of the Verizon Center), a “King Solomon” burger, and a very popular chuck, brisket and short rib blend.
Additionally, a huge part of their business comes from poultry sales. King Solomon Foods moves about 250,000 pounds of chicken a week!
They are a direct receiver of chicken, so as a wholesaler that means their prices are extremely competitive. Bell & Evans, Purdue, Allen, you name it.
The business is already highly diversified. But Grant is looking to make this place a one stop shop, as they’re even supplying things like cheese, produce, turkey, seafood and sausage. For Grant, meat is a passion. It’s in his blood, and running this business was his dream. He’s always looking to take advantage of new technologies, study what’s available, and assess new business opportunities. He has the keys to the castle, so to speak. With youth and hustle on his side, he’s integrating a new mindset into an old school industry.
And he isn’t the only young blood in the family running things. His cousin, Zack Solomon, is the Executive Vice President of the company. He’s 29, and handles the day to day logistics and operations. Together, they represent the future of a business that runs five generations deep. That’s pretty exciting.
What’s even more exciting is that they sent me home with some really high-marbled, 28-day dry-aged strip steaks to try. Keep an eye out for some cooking videos and photos of these babies.