Desoto County News

Champion pitmaster Wheeler now part of The Butcher’s Block

Photo: John David Wheeler behind the counter of The Butcher’s Block, next to Mesquite Chop House in Southaven. (Bob Bakken/

When you go looking for a good cut of beef or pork, you’d likely feel good about the quality of what you’re buying if you knew it was local and it was suggested by someone who knew what good meat was all about.  

It’s hard to argue when a world champion BBQ pitmaster, who also goes to hard hit areas and cooks for those needing a meal while recovering from major storm or weather events, suggests what would taste exceptional.  

John David Wheeler of Southaven, co-owner of the Memphis Barbecue Company restaurant, champion in barbecue competitions, and active in the Operation BBQ Relief effort, has joined Mesquite Chop House owner Jim Losapio to take over ownership of The Butcher’s Block, located next to Mesquite Chop House on Getwell Road in Southaven.

“I felt the need was here, he said. “I enjoy it. I love talking to everybody that walks in the door and we have a common interest and that’s the meat and the barbecue and different things like that.”  

Local produce is key to what you’ll find at The Butcher’s Block, Wheeler said, with local sources being used for meat, produce and eggs, for instance.  

“We’re getting pretty good prices so we are keeping our prices low,” Wheeler said. “You’re going to find local products, farm-to-table, for your beef and your pork, and we’ve got eggs, local eggs.”

Wheeler also said they get local honey and will have that and some vegetables available. 

Some of what The Butcher’s Block is making available is breakfast sausage and they hope to start offering jalapeno cheddar, sausage links and tamales, different things that can be “grab-and-go.” 

While The Butcher’s Block has been in business for nine years, Wheeler said people were glad when they learned that he and Losapio were taking over its ownership.  

“It’s just something you can come in, get out and go,” Wheeler said. “You get a better quality meat than what you’d find at a grocery store and you’re going to get better service.” 

Wheeller is also doing something for pitmasters where he trims out barbecue ribs and has it ready for competition. “All they have to do is put seasoning on them because you can’t put seasoning on them until they get to the competition,” he added.  

You can also find seasoning and the glaze packet that helped him win the Memphis in May World Championship rib competition. 

“You can come in and buy competition, cooked ready to go ribs, Boston butts, and brisket, whatever you want to buy from here,” Wheeler said. “You can buy a whole hog from here.”  

The Butcher’s Block is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. 

You can find The Butcher’s Block on Facebook for more information.