Steve Clapp always had an interest in beef and grilling, and now he’s sharing that passion with the community at the new butcher shop he and his wife, Ingrid Clapp, opened in February.
Southern Steer Butcher Co. has an assortment of fresh cut meats, homemade sausages, healthy side items and marinated meat selections. In addition, customers can choose from more than 100 craft beers, craft sodas and international wines; and extras such as cheese curds, thick-cut bacon, beef jerky, buffalo chicken dip and chicken salad.
The meat, with no hormones and from mainly grass-fed animals, is purchased from Creekstone Farms in Kansas.
The Clapps were eager to bring a butcher shop to West Orange County because there wasn’t one near their home in Dr. Phillips. If they wanted to buy a selection of meats, their choices were going to a grocery store or driving to Petty’s Meat Market in Longwood or one of the butchers in Winter Park.
They also were looking for a change of pace. The couple opened North American Office Solutions in Orlando in 2001, starting in their house and growing the company to 100 employees. They sold that business in 2019 and were looking for another opportunity.
“I looked at A/C companies, I looked at hair-cutting salons — and I was in Sarasota, and I walked into a place called Southern Steer, and I asked, ‘Did you ever think about moving to Winter Garden?’” Steve Clapp said. “They were thinking about franchising, so we are franchise No. 1.”
The next step was to decide where to open their butcher shop.
“We wanted to be close to Dr. Phillips but not where the theme parks are,” Ingrid Clapp said. “We wanted to reach Windermere, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Dr. Phillips. That’s where all our friends and community are.”
Southern Steer offers specials every day. Shoppers can get special deals on ground beef on Mondays, chicken on Tuesdays, marinated steak tips on Wednesdays and shrimp kabobs on Fridays. The specials vary on Thursdays and weekends.
To know what the specials are and to take advantage of them, customers can go to the butcher shop’s website and sign up to get on the text and email list. The Clapps also give discounts to first responders, military personnel, teachers and seniors.
Ingrid Clapp said she and her husband buy their specialty products, such as goat cheese and goat cheesecake, from Windmill Acres Farm in Ocala. They also work with Lake Meadows Farms and Troyers, an Amish shop, in Sarasota.
“We want to be a specialty store and support local distributors,” Ingrid Clapp said.
For customers interested in meal prep, Southern Steer has started prep classes, where groups of up to 10 can register to make 10 meals that feed four to five people each. Individuals can vary ingredients and substitute for allergies. The next classes are April 20 and 21, and folks can register on the website.
Another option is to order meals ahead of time with the five-day meal-pack plan. This also can be done on the website; pickup is April 7.
Steve and Ingrid Clapp are proponents of Project 52, in which they partner each week with different West Orange County organizations to give back.
“Part of doing this is to give back to the community,” Ingrid Clapp said. “When we had our last business, we went into it like we wanted to make money but also give back.”
So far, the Clapps have partnered with Matthew’s Hope and Edgewood Children’s Ranch. They also have given meat to the Little League and Babe Ruth leagues in Dr. Phillips, Windermere, Ocoee and Winter Garden, and they have reached out to the fire departments in Ocoee and Winter Garden.
“We give them the meat, and they always have their grills out,” Steve Clapp said.