Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian NEW IN TOWN Will Panis recently opened his business, Willie's Meat Market, 20 Mariposa Ave., in Watsonville.

After working as a manager at Freedom Meat Lockers for nearly three decades, William Panis was ready to set off on his own.

His new butcher shop—Willie’s Meat Market—is located at 20 Mariposa off Freedom Boulevard. 

He offers a wide selection of meat, sausage and bacon, in addition to salsa and vegetables, along with spices and rubs.

“I’m trying to have a little bit of everything for everybody,” he said. 

Only open for a few weeks, Panis says that business has started off slow as bad weather dissuaded barbecuers. But that should change, he said, as the sun stays out and the temperatures rise.

“I’m trying to start out slow and build up as I go,” he said. 

Panis says that there is no bad blood with his former employer. 

“When you work for someone in the same business for so long, you just want to do your own deal,” he said. “You just want to try.’

The shop is waiting for final approval for a catering truck that will serve barbecue goods outside the shop, from where customers can get ready-made tri-tip, ribs, chicken, mac salad and garlic bread on Friday and Saturday. When up and running it will be the only one of its kind in South County, he said.

He also hopes to get a frozen yogurt machine for the kids that walk by.

The shop formerly held Del Sol Market. Before that, it was Country Cousins, which had a liquor store on one half, and a gun, ammo and fishing gear shop on the other.


Willie’s Meat Market is located at 20 Mariposa Ave. It is open 10am to 5pm Tues-Sat.

For information, call 247-7409.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA. https://pajaronian.com/r-p-reporter-honored-by-csba/


  1. Hey long time no see I was wondering where you went count me in as a customer you always treated me right at freedom meat lockers

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