Shields Open for Business

By Mark J. Herold

That’s the news from Diamond Mardell, the 33-year employee and now owner of Shield’s Meat Market in Emory Village. A sometimes-confusing transition from prior owner Geoff Shields leaves Diamond reminding his loyal customers his aged filet mignon and ribeye is still the best in town.

Shield’s Meat Market was founded by Geoff Shields in 1947. For the past 20 years in Emory Village, the meat market has enjoyed a privileged position as a specialty shop for fine beef, pork, chicken and sandwiches. It’s unique in metro Atlanta, and it’s right here in Emory Village.

Diamond reflects for a minute when asked what has changed over the years.

“The only change in 20 years is more international customers,” Diamond says over the counter of the store located in the building with CVS Pharmacy. “We are selling more chicken and shrimp and meat loaf for children. But I’m especially eager to raise the bar as a specialty shop for things like venison, bison, tenderloin,” he said. “We either have it, or I can get it.”

Diamond’s butcher skills are easy to see when he’s frenching a rack of lamb, one of the trickier jobs in the butcher business. Born in Atlanta, his training in the world of meat began when he was 15.

The hardest part of the job? Being refrigerated 8-10 hours a day. He laughs when he acknowledges wearing long johns even in the summer. After 33 years, Diamond is enjoying something he’s always wanted – owning his own business. But his real goal, besides providing unique service and quality, is to get Shield’s to the 100-year anniversary. “I’ve just got 27 more years to go!”

—Article courtesy of the Druid Hills News