Andrew (far left): “This business first got started in Germany, by our grandfather, Alfred Barsch. When he passed away, my grandmother relocated here in 1969, when she remarried my other grandfather, Curt, and this butcher shop has been here in Lacey for 48 years now.”
Heidi: “We kids started helping out very young. My girlfriends from high school will tell you that I used to get here on Saturdays at 3:00 in the morning to make bread before I went to track practice. Our parents wanted us to learn a good work ethic, which we definitely did, and that work ethic is a strong part of what makes this business thrive.
“But when I was growing up, if you had asked me if I thought I would be running our father’s butcher shop when I got older, I would have said, ‘No way.’ I have a degree in Biology, and I also have my Masters. After I got my Masters, I traveled the world a little bit. While I was traveling, I thought I would be taking a break from it all, but I realized how important family is, and how hard my father and grandfather worked, and that was when I came back and got involved in the business, instead of following my other career path.”
Andrew: “I was studying to be a pastor in college, but on my breaks and on weekends I would always come home and work with my dad. I can truly say I fell in love with this business. I have a huge passion for it.”
Heidi: “And here we are now, ten years later. And Andrew and I love it here. We work really good together. We make a great team. Both our father and grandmother got to retire, something they never thought they would be able to do. My grandmother just turned 90, and she is as quick as a whip. I think working so long kept her sharp. She still stops by here.
“We love our community. We have so many people who come in here looking for donations, and we don’t even hesitate, because we are so grateful that there are people out there volunteering their time. There is the Lacey Methodist church that helps this community so much, and we work hand-in-hand with them to help them accomplish their goals—whether it is feeding the needy, or just simply bringing the community together. And we know so many people by name. We know about their lives, and what is going on with them, and we feel like our employees are an extended family.”
Detlev (far right): “I am the uncle. My job at the shop is production, research, and development. I have adopted 11 children, and have a total of 18 children. I have had over 100 foster children over the years. It all started back when we had a farm in upstate New York. We would have juvenile delinquents, who did things like rob stores and such, over to our farm to come stay with us. And that’s how we began fostering. Any that did not end up going back home, we adopted.”
Andrew: “He has definitely inspired me with adopting children. I am going to China at the end of the month to adopt a little special needs boy, whom will be named Tobias. He is three years old. He is deaf. My wife is a certified sign-language interpreter, and I am an avid student of sign language, so we can definitely give him a language to have, as well as show him love and a caring home, which is something that is definitely missing from his life right now. This will be my wife’s and my fifth adoption, and all five are deaf. We also have one daughter we gave birth to.”
Heidi: “I don’t know how they do it. Let alone being deaf, having what will soon be 6 children total, is amazing. And when they adopt these children, the kids don’t have anything when they get here, but they teach them sign-language and it is amazing how fast the kids pick it up. As soon as the kids see that they are loved and they are safe, they are so loving themselves…it is so incredible to see. I love that my brother and sister-in-law are able to do this for them. It feels great to be their aunt. I wish I knew sign-language better to be able to communicate with them. I know a little bit, but I want to communicate more. They are the sweetest little things, and so vivacious.
“One thing for sure these kids will have growing up is a sense of family. That is something Andrew and I grew up with, and it is something we feel we provide to our employees and our customers too. We have been a part of this community so long. There are so many customers whom we have known over the years. I have customers who tell me that my grandmother was the one who taught them how to cook, and they always ask how she is doing. We have people who knew us when we were kids around the shop, and now we are here running it. We love our customers and we love this shop. It’s our home, really.”
~ The German Butcher
109 Lacey Rd. Forked River, NJ 08731. 609-693-7100.