Greg Combs leaned against his cash register at The Pork Shop and watched as Leo Archer made his biannual meat selections.
"Does your grandmother still have her candy dish? Bless her heart," Combs asked.
"Yes, she does," Archer said, popping a sampling of Arizona summer sausage into his mouth.
Archer has traveled 40 miles from north Mesa to southern Queen Creek to stock up on meat twice a year for the past six years.
The European native said Combs, who owns the meat store, is "a real, oldstyle butcher that you can’t find anymore."
But Combs contends that he just likes "to make a lot of good, interesting stuff."
"If I enjoy it, we’ll put it out for sale," he said.
Combs’ season started this week. He makes 90 percent of his annual sales in ham and smoked turkey between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Tammy Young of Gilbert comes every year the day before Thanksgiving for the sausage she uses in her Cajun corn-bread stuffing and "everybody loves it."
"I know everyone just comes out here for the holidays," she said. "You will never buy your bacon or sausage from the store again."
Combs grew up with hogs on his grandfather’s farm. He opened the store as a hobby in 1979.
At one time, Combs said he knew who drove every truck or car he passed on his way "into town."
His pork shop sits down the road from the J.O. Combs School District office, named after his uncle, near Gantzel and Combs roads.