Family-owned-and-operated Kowalski’s Markets, with 11 locations across Minneapolis, are known for their high-quality meats, seafood, deli and produce departments. And, many of their products are sourced from local farms.
“The owners are foodies at heart and what’s fun about working and shopping in our stores is that we’re all just a bunch of foodies,” says Troy Schmeling, meat and seafood director. “I think shoppers feel that energy, and when they come in, they’re going to find something interesting every time.”
Progressive Grocer has just named Kowalski’s Markets one of its Outstanding Independent Retailers for 2021. And with good reason. All of their meats are free of hormones and antibiotics. “That’s where it starts for us,” says Troy. “We believe that animals raised the right way, with humane handling, produce a higher quality product.”
All of their prime and choice beef comes from a company in Kansas, which sources most of its cattle from Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. “It’s pretty important that the beef we buy comes from the region that raises the highest-quality beef, and that’s the Midwest.”
Every one of their staff members, says Troy, goes through basic cooking classes so they are all well versed in how to prepare the different items they offer. “We’re selling a high-quality product so we have to be able to help our customers prepare it right. We want to make sure when you leave the store you’re really comfortable with what you purchased and how to cook it.”
With warm weather here and people contemplating what to grill, Kowalski’s has some mouth-watering options. “We sell a Kobe-style beef that’s called Akaushi, which is a Japanese-bred cattle that are now all across the Midwest,” he says. “We also sell all the traditional steak cuts – New York strip, ribeye, top sirloin, and filet mignon. We have a signature burger blend that’s called our short-rib burger, which is a really juicy burger. We also have inclusion burgers with bacon and different cheeses.”
Many of their offerings are grill ready and easy to prepare, such as marinated chicken and steak kabobs. “We have a lot of stuff for the grill and what’s really fun about shopping at our stores is that you can get a lot of different selections and varieties of flavor profiles. These include some you don’t see every day, like rosemary garlic, raspberry chipotle, and fajita pineapple.”
Kowalski’s Markets also has plenty of prepared seafood dishes. “We get really great seafood from all over the world. Depending on the season, there’s fresh halibut, tuna, salmon, mahi mahi, and swordfish, which are all great for grilling.” There are also salmon burgers and fish kabobs ready to go.
During Covid-19, says Troy, many people have become more comfortable with cooking delicious meals at home. “You get a good bottle of wine, some steak or seafood, and a side dish from our produce department, and you can really put together a five-star meal. Anybody can put together a fabulous meal if they start with great ingredients.
“When a customer comes back and tells us that the steak we recommended to go along with that asparagus was the best steak they ever had and the best meal they ever prepared, that’s our home run.”
To see what else they have to tempt your tastebuds, go to https://www.kowalskis.com.