A Family Tradition Begins

M. Sabatos & Sons was established by Matthew Sabatos in 1918. The first store was opened in Newark, New Jersey with Matthew’s intention of someday passing the business on to his three sons Michael, Andrew, and John. Throughout the years (and with many generations of Sabatos's), there have been four stores in four different locations; Newark, Irvington, and two in Middletown, New Jersey.

After years of working in Newark, Matthew Sabatos opened a new butcher shop, 'M. Sabatos & Sons' in Irvington, New Jersey in 1939. This location was run by Matthew's three sons, Michael, Andrew, and John Sabatos and was famous for their homemade sausage and kielbasy.


During the summer months, M. Sabatos & Sons traveled to the Jersey Shore where they set up a stand on the Seaside Boardwalk in 1952. From the boardwalk of Seaside, John Sr. decided to take the business to the Jersey Shore, permanently.


In 1961, John Sr., with help from Andy Sr., established Sabatos Prime Meats on Main Street in Belford. As the years passed, Andy Jr. and John Jr. learned the family business which they are currently running. The store was easy to find on your way down Highway 36 to the beach and a great place to stop and pick up some hot dogs and burgers before spending the weekend at the shore.

 In 1978, the Sabatos family purchased a building in Campbell’s Junction off Leonardville Road in Belford, literally around the corner from the old store on Main Street. It is still owned and operated by Andy Jr. and John Jr. Sabatos.

In addition to being busy throughout the year, during the holidays it was impossible to move throughout the store. The Irvington store was continually filled with customers placing their holiday orders or picking them up. Though the lines were out the door, the service remained top notch. 

The store is still crowded; the orders keep coming in. While waiting for your order, Andy, John, and Lars continue their top notch service with a little comic relief. If you call in advance, they'll have your holiday order ready. But if you forget, ask the butchers what their wives are cooking; they may just sell you their dinner!

Andy Sr. and John Sr. worked in the business together for 50+ years. Leading by example, their hard work and dedication was instilled in their sons, Andy Jr. and John Jr. who continue to provide quality service.

 Side by side, John Sr. and Andy Sr. making sausage, circa 1940's


 Still side by side, Andy Sr. and John Sr. making sausage, circa 1990's. Up until the day he was 85, Andy Sr. was still coming from Union to Belford every week to make sausage

Andy Jr. and John Jr. have continued to run the business in a similar fashion as their grandfather, uncle, and fathers. Sabatos Prime Meats is not a deli; Sabatos Prime Meats is a unique, old-fashioned butcher shop with a wide variety of fresh meats; you won’t find any other place like it!

Next year the Leonardville Road store will celebrate its 30th Anniversary as the Sabatos Butcher Shop turns 90!

See the photo album below