Hey it’s Lindsey we’re back again with a glimpse inside the makings and workings of a butcher shop and if I were to tell you what my million dollar question is that I get from everybody is how did you become a butcher and I would tell you that’s definitely the million dollar question that I can’t answer for you because it just kind of happened.
So the million dollar question, how did I become a butcher? I was an animal science major in my previous life, then I went on to be a paramedic for quite a few years out west and I called home one day being burnt out of being in emergency medicine and my dad’s in the butcher shop for sale across the street. Here I am 11 years later. So, needless to say, I wish there was a better perk to the story, but that’s really how it happened. I really love being in this industry, getting to work with not only the consumers and the people that want to purchase really high quality meat, as well as my farmers who work really, really hard and provide really, really great animals for me to work with. Should I go through like a day in the life?
Alright, so a day in the life around here is pretty crazy. If you ask any of my crew, they will tell you it’s more of a swing with the punches some days than it really is a rhythm around here. I have really great farmers that I’m always available when they have an emergency beef come in. If they have a leg break or something that needs to be managed immediately for the humane factor of dealing with that animal, whether it’s a pig or beef or goat or sheep. We make sure that we’re here to help with that and if that animal can be salvaged versus going to a dead pile into a sustainable decent meat product, we will definitely do that. So things can be a little hectic around here. We are a very diversified Butcher shop, so we’re in a lot of things. We’re into catering, we have food trucks, we have a full slaughter floor, cutting floor, full retail, and e-commerce now. So there’s a lot of functioning cogs to making things work around here.
So when we’re demystifying what really happens at a butcher shop, don’t overthink it. Every day is crazy like I said. Some days we can be catering, some days we can be doing an emergency kill. Every day we’re mostly cutting on the table up here or at least have a crew. So it’s a combination of numerous things that are happening at all times. So if we’re talking about beef or pigs and we get into the slaughter combinations, beef when they come in, they’ll hang in my cooler from anywhere to seven days to 14 days hang any longer than three to four days depending on how much fat coverage they have on them. They’re not an animal that can hang very long so our timelines really flip depending on what animals we have on our calendar for that week versus ones we don’t have on them me think. So we are a fully operating retail as well. So we do all of our sausage making here, our custom grinds. We do work with some restaurants to provide them a specialty custom grind, especially the one across the street from us. So if you come to town you can experience our meats in more than one spot.
Most of the time what I do right away in the morning when I come in is I go through and I sort carcasses. I make sure that I don’t have beef that need to be cut or maybe have aged faster for other reasons, whether it’s genetics or injuries that I might need to get up on the table, on the saw, and cut and put in the freezer before the day is over with. So I always kind of let the carcasses talk to me and what they need versus if they can hang a little longer and buy a small one. I tend to go through cutting orders, making sure I’ve got cutting orders for the beef that we have coming up next, and prepping the crew for what they need to cut and process for that day. And then by 730 in the morning, the phone’s ringing and it’s pretty much nonstop for the day. So it’s kind of swinging with the punches of what catering needs are calling, whether it’s a wedding, a corporate event, or just somebody having a gathering of 13 people over the weekend, which was our first phone call this morning. So we try to meet everybody at whatever they need for their catering needs, big and small. We always try to have options. So throughout the day, I usually have a crew of fortified people around my cutting table. So I have one on the saw, one running the grinder one stuffing and one wrapping meat. And then everybody is really good about swinging, kind of functioning. You know, everybody can grind, everybody can stuff, everybody can wrap. There’s a couple of us that can cut. So it’s really nice that we can be flexible if I have to pull somebody or do something else.
So a lot of people ask me how I learned the art of butchery and how I got into it. And the honest truth is my fellow butchers. And I’m so thankful for the meat processors here in Minnesota because they have all been amazing and helpful and educational. There aren’t a lot of schools since 2020. Now there’s a lot of schools starting to pop up that you’ll see there’s two now in Minnesota Eleven years ago when I started, there was the University of Mississippi and the University of Utah that provided external training for butcher wannabes. So I was really, really fortunate enough to have a butcher shop locally here take me under their wing and let me work their cutting floor, their kill floor with them and basically just work my butt off for eight days straight to just learn the skill set that it took to butcher and slaughter and then from there you just develop the art. And you develop what your customers want and you just keep working and you watch YouTube videos like this one.
I get asked a lot, why is it a big deal to be a custom exempt processor and what’s the perk of it? What is the bonus for you, the consumer, to shop at a local butcher shop versus maybe the grocery store or other places? Neither of those places are bad, but if you want a local product and you want one middle man in that scenario, which is me, I’ve got a your fix for you. This is an animal that comes locally, does not have to be trucked. We harvest it here, you come here and get it, and everything stays within the full circle of our little local area, which is so huge to people to know the story of where their animals come from, where their meat comes from, and we cut everybody out of the scenario and we can process it right here for you.
So with that summarizing, check out our custom exempt plants. Know that you can ask any questions here. These are kind of the little tidbits of what goes on here. Know we are family owned and operated. We are very small. And know that you’re gonna get one-on-one attention when you come here. So make sure to follow along more. We’ll check you out next time.
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