Photo by Shawn Arrajj
Local market thrives on traditional ‘mom and pop’ appeal
For Brian Cashmere, taking up work at a meat market almost seemed like fate. Cashmere, who has been running Lawson’s Meat Market with his family in The Woodlands since 2003, was ingrained in the industry at an early age.
“My family has been in the meat cutting business since the 1950s,” he said. “It’s just what I know and love.”
Lawson’s market is named after its founder, Jack Lawson, who opened the shop on Sawdust Road in 1983. Still in the same location, Cashmere has witnessed the explosion of growth and development around the area during the past 10 years.
Cashmere said he maintains an edge over bigger meat markets by emphasizing the quality of his family’s product.
“Everything in here is all natural,” he said. “Nothing has steroids, antibiotics or hormones. None of the marinades have MSG or any kind of gluten. Everything is cut fresh and wrapped daily.”
In addition to offering an array of standard and specialty meats, the staff at Lawson’s also provides deer processing. They have already taken on about 70 orders, Cashmere said.
Part of the charm of Lawson’s market is its old-time rustic feel, Cashmere said. The shop features wooden paneled walls, carpet floor and a U-shaped arrangement of meat cases displaying products to customers. All food is prepared in-house.
Originally from Thibodaux, La., Cashmere said one of his specialties is preparing Cajun dishes, such as boudin, alligator, crawfish and smoked sausage. He learned about Cajun cooking—and about the meat cutting trade in general—from his father, G.W., who has been a butcher since 1955.
“Mr. Lawson and my dad were both friends since eighth grade,” he said. “They both ran their own meat shops until Lawson retired and our family decided to leave ours and take over his.”
G.W. has since been sidelined by a hip replacement surgery, but Cashmere insists that his father is still the top cutter at the market and will be back soon.
“He’s one of the best around, and he can still cut faster and sharper than me, even after the surgery,” he said.
Cashmere said he sees his business as one of the few remaining meat markets where people can still gather on a communal level.
“Those mom and pop butcher shops are few and far between these days,” he said. “They don’t even call them butchers anymore; they call them meat cutters. Business has still been good for us, and our repeat customers keep bringing in new customers who become repeat customers. We’re just going to keep doing what we do.”
Lawson’s Meat Market, 202 Sawdust Road, Ste. 108, Spring, TX, 281-364-7479