In this edition of Tim Dutton's Taste of the Town, Tim visits Tag'z 5 Star Meats and spends some time talking with Tagz owner Mike Taglio to find out what sets the local, family owned and operated butcher shop apart from the butchers found in Murfreesboro's grocery stores. Stop in to Tag'z and grab a sandwich, get your organic meat and locally made milk, and a dose of good old fashioned customer service.

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TIM:  Tim Dutton here with another edition of Taste of the Town.  Today, I’m with Mike Taglio with Tag’z 5 Star Meats.  Mike, thank you for having us today.

MIKE:  Well, thanks for having me.

TIM:  Folks, we’re doing things a little bit different today.  Mike is an old-fashioned butcher shop.  Tell me a little bit about your business, Mike.

MIKE:  Well, it was a dream for about 20 years to do this.  I worked in the corporate for about 20 some odd years, and always in the back of my mind, I wanted to do this for myself.  And finally, I got the opportunity when I got downsized.  And so my wife that night she said to me—almost like Rocky’s wife said to him—she said, “Let’s do it.”  I said, “Okay, put the blinders on and don’t let anybody tell us we can’t do it.”  And here we are 10 years later and we’re going strong.

TIM:  And you guys focus on, of course, meats to take home and stuff.

MIKE:  Mm-hm.

TIM:  Tell me, Mike, what makes it different here from your typical grocery store butcher shop.

MIKE:  Well, that’s a good point.  What we try to focus on other than having the best customer service around—you shop with us two times and we’re going to know your name, your kids’ names, we’re going to know your favorite meats, and we’re going to be able to make suggestions to you.  But I think our real niche is we buy from family organizations, not big corporations.

I buy all my pork from a family in Columbus, Indiana; I buy all my chicken from a Springer Mountain family in Georgia; and I try to get all my beef from Greeley, Colorado, a family out there.  And it seems when a customer has their name on it they’re a little more responsible and I just do better buying from families.

TIM:  Right, right.  Now you also have meats that are organically grown?  Is that right?

MIKE:  Not everybody wants organic, but for those that do, we have organic chicken.  We have some organic beef and some organic pork.  We have organic cheese.  We have a milk company here in the area that does organic milk.  And we will try to get anything that anybody wants.  Yeah.

TIM:  And also, I noticed that you guys have brought in Hatcher’s organic milk.

MIKE:  Oh, that’s a top-notch milk.  I drank organic milk for years, and several of my customers were purchasing it at the farmer’s market.  And so I said, “Well, let them come over.”  And I got a sample of it, and boy, it’s the best I’ve ever had.

TIM:  It is good.  Tell me a little bit about what you’ve got out here on the tray, Mike.

MIKE:  Well, we just put a small variety back there.  This is our little niche thing.  It’s called a “Terminate T-bone.”  It’s about two inches thick.  It’s about two pounds of meat.  And to some it would be maybe too expensive or too big, but those out there in today’s times are looking for a deal.  It’s probably one of the best buys in the case because you’re getting the New York strip steak for half the price; you’re getting the filet mignon for half the price; and it’s the best deal.

It’s a two-person steak.  It’s the best deal.  We’ve got organic grain fed and we also have USDA choice grain-fed beef.  We have fresh seafood brought in every day and we do all kinds of things like homemade crab cakes that several people have told us coming back from a week in Florida that ours were tops.

TIM:  It is good.  Now you guys also have your own marinades and sauces.  This one here happens to be Hell’s Kitchen Habanero Hot Sauce.

MIKE:  I’m a condiment freak.  When I and my youngest daughter, Sarah, set up the table, it takes us a half hour to get started because we’ve got to have all our little stuff there.  So we have a condiment for every item in the store, including a lot of different things.  We have olives stuffed with blue cheese.  We’ve got stuffed jalapeno peppers.  We’ve got beets and squash and a lot of unique things.  A lot of them are old country recipes of bread and butter pickles, green tomato pickles, homemade Virginia apple butter, just a lot of stuff.

TIM:  Something that most people don’t know that you guys do or that they may not know is that they can come in here, get them a pint of milk, and you can fix them a sandwich cutting their meat the way that they want it.  Is that right?

MIKE:  Oh, yeah.  We use Boar’s Head meat exclusively, which I feel is top of the line.  And I have this terrible disease where I can’t make a small sandwich.  So you might want to show them that sandwich there.  That’s a sandwich.  Yeah.

TIM:  Now, this sandwich here features the Boar’s Head Black Forest Ham, right?

MIKE:  Mm-hm.  And we’ve got it on sale this week.

TIM:  And you’ve got it on sale.  And how much is it a pound?

MIKE:  It’s regular $8.99 but we have it on $6.99.  And my wife, she’s the deli manager and my better half, and she takes care of that and she runs a lot of specials each week.  And we’ve also just recently set up a Facebook and a website, and it will be listing all the features that we’re going to run each week.  And also, at this particular time, if you would go on the Facebook or the website, there’s a coupon on there for your next visit.  You can get a 10% discount on everything in the store.

TIM:  You hear that, folks?  Ten percent if you go on the website and print the coupon.  I want you to look at the thickness of this sandwich right here.  And I’m fixin’ to take a bite.  It’s going to be a while until I get back with you.  Mike, that is one mean sandwich, man.

MIKE:  I like to eat.

TIM:  Hey, tell folks where you’re located.

MIKE:  Well, if you’re familiar with Murfreesboro and you know where Memorial Blvd. is, if you can find Reeves-Sain Drugstore, right across the street is a Regents Bank and we’re right in there.  Or if you go to the corner of Northfield and Memorial, there’s a Taco Bell on the corner.  Follow it up towards the ____ [06:07]. 

Right after the Taco Bell, there’s a McDonalds.  After McDonalds, there’s a Pizza Hut.  Then there’s an open field with three flag poles.  That’s were Middle Tennessee Christian School is.  You turn like you’re going into the school.  Instead of bearing right to the school, turn left.  And we’re in a 10-unit strip mall right in there.

TIM:  Well, folks, if you’re thinking about grilling or wanting a sandwich, you need to think Tag’z.  And if you’re thinking real estate, think Tim Dutton.