COCOA VILLAGE, Fla. – A smoke-snorting metal bull stands guard out front. A Visit Florida postcard-inspired mural by artist Cody Monahan graces the north-facing side of the building.
Soon steaks and sausage and deli meats will fill the coolers inside.
Crydermans Meat Market opens April 2 next door to Crydermans Barbecue on Florida Avenue in Cocoa Village, according to News 6 partners Florida Today.
Amy and Chad Cryderman brought their Central Texas-inspired wood-fired barbecue to town in July 2017. They opened a second location in downtown Melbourne in in April 2019. Their initial plans didn’t include a market.
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For the past five years, the aroma of wood smoke has wafted over Florida Avenue near State Road 520 as a line formed outside the former filling station.
When the store in the 1940s building next door to the Cocoa restaurant closed, the owner asked the Crydermans if they were interested in renting it.
“We talked about office space, storage, all kinds of things,” Amy Cryderman said. “We kicked around a general store idea.”
A friend reminded the couple that Crydermans customers know the brand for its high-quality meat, Chad said.
They decided to stick with what they know.
The market will sell raw meat cut by butcher Thomas Jennings, as well as deli meat such as roast beef and Cheshire ham smoked on the premises.
Sauces and rubs will be available, too, as will grab-and-go items.
Need a quick dinner? Pick up a smoked meatloaf, take it home and pop it in the oven.
Planning to light up the grill? Choose pre-made sides such as creamed spinach and twice-baked potatoes to go with steaks from the dry-age case.
For those in the market for a new grill, Crydermans will carry the PK brand of charcoal grills.
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And to finish off the perfect backyard meal, the market will stock a selection of wine, plus local and Florida craft beer.
Final touches are being made inside the building. General manager Joe Kitchens is on the premises and eager to start welcoming customers.
Kitchens and Jennings both come to the market with a lot of food service experience.
Kitchens has spent years in restaurant management, and Jennings learned the butchering trade on the job.
“I trained with old-timers,” he said.
He worked with a British whole-animal butcher and worked in a wild game processing facility.
While a meat cutter can carve off a decent steak, a true butcher knows the anatomy of the animal and where each cut of meat comes from.
“It’s a dying breed,” Jennings said.
“We’re going to do a lot of random in-house stuff,” Chad Cryderman said, like smoked salt and smoked honey butter.
Chad is hoping the market and restaurant will become a destination for meat lovers who will stop by for a brisket sandwich at lunch and take home steaks for dinner.
As the grand opening celebration nears, the bull standing guard outside the market already is attracting attention. People walking along Florida Avenue stop frequently to take pictures with it.
What most of those people don’t realize, though, is that the bull has a secret.
The Crydermans found it in Lake County while traveling State Road 50 on their way back to the Space Coast from Amy’s hometown of Brooksville.
When they got back to pick it up, they realized it was not just a statue, it was also a grill.
“Which made it even more cool,” Amy said. “If you burn anything in it, smoke comes out the nose.”
Word of warning to those selfie-takers: It gets hot.
A contest is underway on the meat market’s Facebook page to come up with a name for the bull. The winner will be announced at the grand opening event.
Crydermans Meat Market is at 405 Florida Ave., Cocoa. Call 321-735-4631 or visit crydermansbarbecue.com. A grand opening event is planned for noon to 3 p.m. April 2 with vendors, grilling demonstrations, a wine tasting and an announcement of the winner of the Name the Bull contest. Artist Cody Monahan will paint a canvas to be sold at the event. The market’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.