Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
You’ll soon be able to get a slab of bacon with your broccoli at Community Market — at least in Sebastopol. The historically-vegetarian grocer will add pork, lamb, duck, rabbit, grass-fed beef and locally-raised chickens from Victorian Farmstead Meat Company when it opens its second location this summer at The Barlow.
Called The Chop Shop, local meat-purveyor Adam Parks has struck a deal with Community Market to operate an independent butcher counter within the grocery store.
“It will be a full service counter with all the meats we currently have as well as our own sausages, bacon and charcuterie,” said Parks.
“We’re really excited,” said Nica Poznanovich, assistant general manager of Santa Rosa Community Market. “This is a dream partnership,” she added. “We want to be known as having one of the most extraordinary and ethical meat departments in the country. Adam is so well-connected in his ability to achieve the quality that we want, so it was a really easy decision,” said Poznanovich.
Parks, who runs a small butcher counter at his Sebastopol ranch as well as selling at numerous farm markets throughout the Bay Area, has garnered a strong following for his sustainably-raised meats. Though he’d long been rumored to be “The Butcher” alluded to in marketing materials for the Barlow, Parks said the cooperative venture was more financially viable than a stand-alone business.
A small, but vocal collection of customers have voiced dissent over the addition of meat to the nearly 40-year-old grocer’s decision to go omnivore. “Our mission is to be an educational resource in Sonoma County. We can no longer ignore the want and need for extraordinary meat from local ranches,” she said. The Santa Rosa location, however, will remain meat-free for the foreseeable future.
Parks has been busy with other ventures as well. He told BiteClub that he’s also planning to take over the butchering area of Petaluma’s Agius Grocery for a USDA-certified “cut and wrap” facility. While most consumers might yawn at the news, the service would be a boon to other small-scale, artisan meat producers who have few other options for legally packaging their products for sale in the North Bay. In short, more locally-raised, locally-slaughtered and locally-packaged meat is a good thing for all local carnivores.