Recently named “Best of…” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ray’s Butcher Shoppe has been in business since 1977. Originally located on Howell Avenue and Rosedale in Bay View, Ray’s moved to its current location on Loomis Road in 1989.
We spoke with Co-Owner Perry Podd who has been with Ray’s for over 30 years. “We’ve been with The Starr Group for as long as I can remember,” he said. “Whenever we had a claim, it was resolved in a reasonable time frame.”
“Oh, of course, other agencies call us,” Podd said, “But we’d never switch. We have a good customer relationship with The Starr Group.” He added with a chuckle, “Many of their employees shop here.”
The Starr Group will often bring a custom, hand-packed Cookie Box to its other clients. “That was Mary [Starr]’s idea,” Podd said. He recalled she wanted to do something different as a promotion. “That’s how that started.” On occasion, Ray’s will prepare a small meat box, “but primarily, it’s the cookies!” laughs Podd.
Ray’s enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB, and their Friday Fish Fry averages 4.5 stars across four major review sites (Google, Yelp, Facebook and Birdseye). 1,850 people can’t be wrong!
Tim Starr is a strong advocate for Ray’s Friday Fish Fry. He’s sent several emails to staff personally endorsing the meal. The plentiful 3-piece meal offers a choice of baked fish, perch, shrimp or a combo. It includes coleslaw and a rye roll. It also comes with your choice of steak fries or French fries; as well as a choice of soup or chowder. “Oh, yes,” Podd said, “We’ve always had the fish fry. When most people didn’t eat meat on Friday, we sold lots of fish.”
With restaurants and churches offering fish frys, Podd’s suppliers have seen business wane and peak at times. “The younger people aren’t into the fish frys” like their parents and grandparents were back in the day. “But we still do a good business on Fridays,” he said, adding, “The fish fry is also available on Ash Wednesday.”
You can find weekly specials on Ray’s website. You can get a full view of their meats, bakery & deli products, wine & cheeses, and groceries as well. When asked what the most popular, best-selling cut of meat might be, Podd didn’t hesitate to answer: “The Bacon-wrapped filet!” Buy a couple bacon-wrapped filets to toss on the grill, then swing by at the end of the week for their classic fish fry. Tell them The Starr Group sent you!