Made in Chicago: Happy to Meat You

 Happy to Meat You
Mike Bruce (left) and Scott Fisher (right) are the co-founders of the local online butchery Happy to Meat You. Photo credit Lisa Fielding

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) - For Scott Fischer, good food and cooking good food is in his DNA.

"I've always been a foodie, born and raised in Chicago, in Highland Park. I've always been a foodie, eating in Highwood and all over the North Shore and at some of the best steakhouses downtown. My mom and my dad were huge foodies as well. I had a very crafty palette at a young age," he recalled.

Fischer spent most of his career in sales but seven years ago, a friend convinced him to audition for the first season of Master Chef, and his life changed forever.

"A friend of mine said, ‘you know how to cook, you should audition for this new show that's coming out with Gordon Ramsey,’ I thought he was crazy," Fischer said.

Fischer ended up auditioning and he was chosen out of 40,000 other cooks.

"I was flown to L.A. It was a crazy whirlwind. Cooking was always a hobby, but I was always able to throw it down. You couldn't be a professional chef to be on Master Chef. Two out of the three judges put me through with my roasted coconut shrimp dish," he laughed.

Food service became his new calling.

"On the sound stage, on the back lot, the casting director said, 'Scott Fischer from this day forward, your life will change forever.’' Those words were never truer. I then started to do some culinary events and even created a wrap event for Dancing with the Stars," he said, shaking  his head. "I even came up with a cookie line called 'Fish & Chips’,” he laughed.

In 2020, he came up with a prime steak home delivery service called Happy to Meat You.

Happy to Meat You
Photo credit Lisa Fielding

"The pandemic changed everything. People were suddenly eating at home, and restaurants weren't open at the time. I thought, ‘why not take these great steaks and deliver them to people at home?’" Fischer said.

Fischer partnered with International Meat Company, 7107 W Grand Avenue, a provision house in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, to offer a home delivery service.

"I didn't want steaks that were cut and stored in a meat locker somewhere. You never know how long those steaks have been frozen. I call those ‘steakcicles.’ I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to cut the meat that day and ship it immediately," said Fischer.

Each morning at 4 a.m., the meat is cut, cured and packaged.

"Everything is prime, fresh and fast," Fischer said. "You have to be USDA certified prime and that's what we are here in Chicago. It's the best of the best. We age all the steaks in-house."

Happy to Meat You
Photo credit Lisa Fielding

Happy To Meat You has grown significantly in a short two years. Fischer, founder and CSO (Chief Steak Officer) and his partner Mike Bruce are now selling on QVC.

"We started doing all local deliveries in Chicago and shipped nationwide. Now, we're selling on QVC to 30 million views. What? We now have people monitoring our orders. We are more automated now. UPS is now handling our next day delivery for us to anyone in the country." said Fischer.

The online butchery features New York Strips, Ribeyes, Filets and averages about 3 million pounds of ground beef a year. Happy to Sea You offers fresh fish.

"We have a great fresh fish line. The fish is caught fresh, it's all wild caught, fileted the same day and packaged the same day, we receive it and ship it out," Fischer said.

Add chicken and their own bacon line to the mix, and Fischer said, there's a little protein for everyone, which is a big part of a healthy diet.

Happy to Meat You
Photo credit Lisa Fielding

"Even if you don't know (how) to cook, we offer something called a companion guide. It's a 60-page beautifully laid out guide that tells you how to cook every piece of meat. We supply that with every order and we even offer recipes. It's really helpful information for our customers," Fischer said.

Fischer said he takes pride in who he partners with, where he gets his meat and how it's grown.

"It's pasture raised, corn finished and we work with farms in the Midwest including Illinois, Nebraska and Iowa. This isn't inexpensive, but it's less than your local meat market and it's quality meat. There's a sign in our store that says, 'quality doesn't cost, it pays'. That's really the truth. You will taste the difference,” he smiled.

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Happy to Meat You
Scott Fischer co-founded Happy to Meat You in 2020. Photo credit Lisa Fielding
Featured Image Photo Credit: Lisa Fielding