‘Nose-to-Tail’ Butchery Aims to Educate Chefs, Community

Sustainable Food NewsConnecticut’s first all-local, “nose-to-tail” butcher shop is taking on a new mision to reintroduce an old tradition of whole animal butchery, education, and the creation of community. Ryan Fibiger, co-owner of CT Grass-Fed LLC, is opening Saugatuck Craft Butchery in the quintessential Gold Coast town of Westport, where the “neighborhood butcher” is selling shoppers locally raised meats and prepared foods.
Underscoring its mission to create a sense of community, the company is also offering cooking classes and demonstrations.
Ryan Fibiger

Ryan Fibiger, co-owner of Saugatuck Craft Butchery in Westport, Conn.

“It’s really unfortunate what has happened to the butcher trade in just a short 40 years or so, and I’d really like to be a part of restoring the distinction of the neighborhood butcher as a craftsman and educator,” Fibiger told Sustainable Food News. “We feel an obligation to help build the community by working with local farms and businesses, assisting local charities, and teaching classes about our craft and philosophy.”

The 920-square-foot shop is designed “for full transparency” with windows throughout and no doors to back rooms, except for the bathroom, he said.

All cutting, wrapping, grinding, and sausage making is done in full view of the customer. Fibiger also allows anyone to view the inventory of carcasses and dry aging.

“We feel strongly that people who choose to eat meat should understand where their food comes from,” he said. “It’s not from a box or bag, it’s from a living animal. My grandparents knew that, my parents less so, and my generation doesn’t just not know, they don’t want to know. It’s not disgusting or offensive. It’s necessary. We feel like it’s our responsibility to re-educate people.”

Fibiger said that tranparency was something he picked up at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats, and owners Josh and Jessica Applestone, in Kingston, NY, where he is a graduate of Fleisher’s whole animal butchery program.

Saugatuck Craft Butchery is selling locally raised beef, lamb, pork and chicken. The beef, lamb and pork are minimally processed: whole lamb, sides of pig, and quartered steer sides (round, loin, rib and chuck). Read More

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