Savenor’s Market has been a Boston family tradition for more than 75 years. First opened in 1939 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the gourmet butcher shop and high-end grocer made a name for itself through its commitment to providing customers with the finest meats and produce anywhere in the world. Once frequented by Rockefellers, Kennedys and Schlesingers, the retailer’s brand recognition reached a pinnacle with the help of America’s first celebrity chef, Julia Child. A loyal customer long before she became a household name, she continued to source all of the meats for The French Chef throughout the 11 year run of her popular PBS show. As any fan of the show could attest, Jack Savenor was frequently mentioned on-air, in addition to making several guest appearances as Julia’s beloved butcher.
With one shop already located on historic Beacon Hill, Savenor’s opened up a second retail store in December of 2005 at its original Kirkland Street site near Cambridge’s Harvard Square. The original store made headlines when it burned down in 1992, a catastrophe which caused devastation not only among the Savenor family, but also the culinary-minded masses who fancied its superior food products.
Ron Savenor, who currently heads both the retail and wholesale operations, took over the tradition from his father, Jack, with whom he credits creating the Savenor’s of today. Jack joined his parents’ business in 1940 at the age of eighteen, and eventually took over after his father’s death in 1942. Originally a basic grocery store, Jack expanded the business to include prime meats, imported patés, exotic game, fresh seafood and specialty foods to meet area demand. Largely as a result of Cambridge’s burgeoning foodie population, the store thrived, becoming renowned as one of the finest gourmet grocers in the world. In 1987, Ron took over the store from his father and ran it in Cambridge until 1992.
A year following the tragic fire, Ron Savenor led the business to Beacon Hill, where it soon became a neighborhood mainstay. Savenor’s was quickly embraced by the residents of its new neighborhood, who were charmed by the store’s one-of-a-kind items such as miniature glass bottles of Coca-Cola and exotic game, and appreciated the store’s refreshingly personal approach to grocery shopping, convenience and overall culinary expertise. To this day, Savenor’s remains a neighborhood gathering place, with regular customers often meeting by the store’s butcher block to discuss current events while shopping for supper.
Throughout the business’ colorful history, Savenor’s has been widely recognized by the local and national press and has been featured in countless publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Wear Daily, Boston magazine, The New York Times and The Boston Globe.
In addition to the retail stores, Savenor’s wholesale business provides the finest meats to Boston’s premier restaurants. Their wholesale list is a virtual “who’s-who” of the local culinary world. Barbara Lynch, Michael Schlow, Deborah Hughes, Joe Cassenelli of Osteria Posto, John Delpha of Rosebud, Keith Pooler of Bergamont, Greg Reeves of Viale, Ana Sortun of Oleana, and Tony Maws of Craige on Main and Tap & Trotter are just a few of the chefs who rely on Savenor’s to provide them with the highest quality meats to serve to their discriminating diners.
Savenor’s high commitment to quality and customer service also serves to differentiate it from the rest. The store’s extraordinary offerings reinforce the store’s reputation as “The Best on the Block.” Together, Savenor’s two retail stores and wholesale operation look forward to providing superior products, expert culinary knowledge and first class customer service for years to come.