Tony Perocco, Butcher Montecito Village Grocer

Tony Perocco is by every definition the neighborhood butcher. He has been cutting meat at the Montecito Village Grocery for more than 27 years.

Tony was born, raised and educated in Santa Barbara. During high school he worked at his brother-in-law’s shop, The Meat House (now LaCumbre Feed). While at The Meat House, Tony says he enjoyed waiting on customers and learning the art of cutting meat. After high school, he received an associate of arts degree from Santa Barbara City College.

In 1974, Tony joined the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW 1036) organization and entered its local butcher training program. He attended Ventura City College for supplemental class work and did a two-year on-site apprenticeship at Fazio's Market (now Gelson’s). In 1980, Tony was hired at Isaia Brothers' Market (now Montecito Village Grocery). One year later, the market sold and is currently owned by Norman Borgatello.

When Tony is not helping customers, he enjoys both surf and lake fishing. With a big smile on his face, Tony told me a story of how he once caught a three-pound trout on a troll line at Lake Cachuma. One of Tony's unique hobbies is collecting insulators (the glass “crown jewels” that used to be on top of telephone poles). He currently owns about 70 insulators, both glass and porcelain. His favorite insulator (worth about $1,200) is from a northeastern railroad telegraph line from the late 1800s that is rare not just for its age but color – peacock blue.

Tony has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 18 years. They have two sons currently attending San Marco High School, Nicholas (17) and Justin (14). Also in their house is the family dog, Aussie. Together the Peroccos enjoy local hikes and bike rides.

A few snapshot questions for the butcher:

Q. One thing people would be surprised to know about you?

A. I'm a Santa Barbara native

What is the best sound in Montecito?

I loved hearing the peacocks at the Child’s Estate

What is the worst sound in Montecito?

Traffic on East Valley Road

Quality you most like in Montecito people?

Warm and appreciative

If you were to die and be reincarnated here in Montecito, who or what would you come back as?

A spoiled pampered pet in a Montecito home

What is Montecito's most requested cut of meat?

A tie between small loin lamb chops and rib-eye steaks

What is your favorite cut of meat?

Nice fat Porterhouse steak

Ever have strange requests?

A customer once requested five pounds of rocky mountain oysters. He then requested us to separate the “oysters” into one-pound servings.

Ever tasted said oysters?

Never have and never will