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Ben Mosner's life in the veal world - Crain's Business Magazine

Ben Mosner's life in the veal world

The wholesale-meat executive has no beefs about his family's business.

When Ben Mosner joined his family's wholesale meat business in 2000, he'd arrive at its Hunts Point plant in the Bronx from his Rockland County home at 3:30 a.m. to unload 200-pound lamb and calf carcasses.

Seven years later, Mr. Mosner was "allowed" upstairs, to work in the office where his father and uncle run the company, Mosner Family Brands, founded in 1957 by Ben's late grandfather.

"I was probably 26 years old when my father said I was more valuable upstairs as a salesperson," said Ben, now 33 and a father of two. As a kid, he'd go to work with his father on Saturdays, when a truckload of animals would arrive. He spent summers in high school taking deliveries and butchering, trimming the meat down to the bone.

Mr. Mosner worked on Wall Street for 18 months after high school, but decided corporate America wasn't for him. "I like selling something I can hold," he said. "I have a huge passion for meat."

In the seven years since Ben was put in charge of business development, Mosner's sales have doubled, to nearly $40 million this year. His younger brother and sister have also joined the company.

Mr. Mosner expanded the menu to include not only lamb and veal, but beef, pork, game and hard-to-find meats: kangaroo, camel, snapping turtle and even rattlesnake. He inked a deal with Chefs' Warehouse of Hunts Point to distribute Mosner's products to restaurants and supermarkets nationally, which now account for 20% of revenue.

It recently launched a $299 butchering class on Saturdays. Now the business is growing out of its Hunts Point space.

As the third generation makes its mark, one tradition remains: Every day at 11, the Mosners take 30 minutes to eat lunch together. "So we don't forget we are a family," he said.

A version of this article appears in the July 21, 2014, print issue of Crain's New York Business.