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Oct 18, 2008 12:16 PM

[MSP] Where in Twin Cities to buy select cuts of sustainably, humanely-raised pork and beef in bulk?

So, we normally go in with friends and family members to buy a half a pork or a half a beef that we load up in our deep freezer--we like knowing where our food is coming from and having influence over how our meat is cut and packaged, as well as getting more of a bulk price than a regular retail price. But, we end up with a lot of bacon, sausage and ground beef that way. And, we're trying to steer (no pun intended) toward leaner cuts of meat right now, so, we're thinking we need to forge out on our own.

Where would you recommend we go in the Twin Cities for either pork or beef? We don't mind going to different sources to get the best product.

Thank you!


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  1. Have you visited the meat vendors at the Saint Paul Farmers Market?

    8 Replies
    1. re: LizzieB_MSP

      I was hoping to find out from someone who had specific experience with this before contacting someone on my own.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I have "specific experience" with pork purchased from Prairie Pride Farm at the SP Farmers Market.
        I can recommend it. We have had pork chops, pork sirloin, bacon, blueberry summer sausage, and breakfast sausage. All were delicious.

        I also purchase Thousand Hills beef from the Mississippi Market. You can also order direct from the website.

        1. re: LizzieB_MSP

          Awesome, thank you. I'm familiar with both of those producers and their products, though, I've only bought individual cuts from them, not in bulk. Were you able to buy the items in bulk and get a price break for doing so from either? Were you able to decide on how you wanted the cuts and packaging? Would you mind expanding a little on how that all worked? Thank you so much!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            TDQ-- i've only dealt with large orders from any of these folks at the wholesale level, so i have nothing to add wrt price breaks at the retail level, but you may have luck with your favorite small-scale farmer if you are a good customer-- it never hurts to ask. otherwise, the bigger small-farm operations will probably offer the best selection, & for these i second both of Lizzie's recs-- they are big enough that they will be able to work with you on specific cuts. you also might want to contact pastures a' plenty-- they also have great product and are ime easy to work with on special orders.


            1. re: soupkitten

              Thanks for the info. I'd heard of pastures a'plenty through another source (sadly, don't recall where)...and will look into those in addition to Liz's. I should have mentioned that my favorite small-scale farmer (that we normally work with) isn't in the Twin Cities, which makes it logistically harder when we forge out on our own...

              Thanks again!


            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              I have not bought Thousand Hills beef in bulk, but I noticed they do have bundles on their website (see above link). The bundles include hot dogs and ground beef, but perhaps you could ask for a bundle of leaner cuts at a discount. I would be surprised if they wouldn't work something out with you.

              For Prairie Pride, I have purchased bundles in the past that included pork chops, pork steaks, and then other pork products in which you would not be interested (sausages and bacon). I have not seen these bundles offered the past few times we've been to the SPFM, but it could be due to our late arrivals on Sunday (meaning they've sold out). The woman who is always at the SPFM is pictured on their website, and she is wonderful. I am sure that if you asked her for a discount for a large order, she'd be happy to work with you. They also have a frequent-buyer punch card which could save you some $.

              One last note-- we have been part of a purchase of a 1/2 cow from Batalden Farms. I wasn't in charge of the purchase, and they don't have a lot of information online, but from what I have heard/read, they are also very accommodating. The beef was excellent.

              Good luck with the hunt and please report back to let us know what you find!

              1. re: LizzieB_MSP

                Lizzie, thank you so much for this information. It is tremendously helpful.

                Before I moved to MN, I never bought meat in bulk from a producer. Since I've moved to MN, I've been buying it through friend/family connections but, as you put, "was never in charge of the purchase." It's a little intimidating to be in charge, which is why I am so thankful your comments here! I will definitely report back!

                Thanks again!


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I buy a lot of my meat from Otis Family Farms at the StP Farmers Market. We just had some delicious lamb chops this week. The guy is super friendly and loves to talk; I think he takes orders for bigger sales. The only drawback is that he's always really busy and you often have to wait in line for quite a while. Hm...maybe that has something to do with how much he likes to talk...

      2. Clancy's in Linden Hills? You can call and talk to them and see if they have or can get what you want and what it would cost.

        1. I buy from Chase Brook Natural Meats at the Shoreview Farmers Market. They are located in Milaca. Over the summer, I've purchase everything from beef (chuck roast, ribeye, short ribs) to pork (shoulder, chops, andouille, chorizo, bacon) to lamb (shoulder, chops, leg) to chicken (whole, split breasts, stock bones). Everything I've gotten has been very good. I know they are at a lot of other markets (check the 'Locations' link on the top of the page), and I believe they will do bulk orders, if you talk to them.


          I hope this helps.

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