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Oct 2, 2013 10:44 PM

Potential REAL butcher shop in San DIego

I was browsing the local Kickstarter campaigns and came across this listing. These guys are working toward whole-animal butcher shop, as well as a CSA (it says they'll likely open in North Park).They will carry only grass-fed and pastured products. In my view this is something our food community is in major need of. They only have a couple weeks left to fund the project so they definitely need some help. Check it out and contribute if you can, all of our tummies and taste buds will thank you.

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  1. I have seen this floating around facebook. I am excited for them to open...isn't it about time SD got a high-quality meat subscription service?

    Their Kickstarter stuff is pricey and they only have a couple of weeks left...hopefully they pull it off and open soon.

    32 Replies
    1. re: MrKrispy

      I agree. I think the butcher shop sounds great, but they seem to have mispriced their pledges unless four sausages are always going to cost $15.
      I'll probably still do a pledge, though.

      1. re: The Office Goat

        Things like pledges scare me when a business, not a charity, is requesting them. Kinda makes me think if they know how to run or fund a start up business.

        1. re: cstr

          I think Kickstarter is an excellent platform for companies to access investment capital (and generate awareness) without having to give up any equity in their business.

          What you run into with some campaigns - these guys included - is they sometimes set too high a target ($50k for a butcher shop) or misjudge the appetite of the market for their product/pricepoint.

          How much equity do you think these guys would have to part with for $50k from an investor? If they are successful, what's the food cost on four sausages at $25?

          1. re: Stiflers_Mom

            I think your 2nd paragraph is right on. I'd be interested in seeing their business plan on their site as well. I mean, if they want donations why not tell the whole story.

            Investors, who are a whole different breed, would need to access the business plan and model to determine what a fair portion would be in return for the gelt. As for food costs if you get above 35% that's the beginning of trouble.

            1. re: cstr

              I've given several times to crowd funding but not for start up resto's..
              When I see $$ amounts that seem excessive to the what is the norm, without a business plan, to me, those are red flags.
              Even a 'vision' plan would suffice...loved to see someone with a vision to open up a Piret's..

            2. re: Stiflers_Mom

              I don't think $50k is even a start. I'd be looking for $150k. It's going to take a long time to build clientele and a consistent income, and remember meat is perishable commodity.

              1. re: Fake Name

                @ FN, BC, CSTR

                Couldn't agree more on 150k+, but H&T set a target of $50k to raise via their campaign. The beauty of Kickstarter is that you don't have to show anyone a business plan, or tell anyone how much of your own capital you've invested or already raised. All you do is sign up, make a video, set some pledge levels/rewards, and let the social media gurus do the rest. If you hit your target, you walk away with X dollars minus reward costs and you still own just as much of the company as you did before the campaign. Your obligation to the $25 investor is 4 sausages (or whatever) and nothing else. As well, you've probably gained a customer who feels vested in your company now.

                1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                  True- the kickstarter buy-in idea worked well for the downtown public market. The turnout for the launch parties was very good, and the word of mouth generated was not only significant in number, but strong in credibility.

                  They must have another source of capital, I'd guess they won't be paying anyone for a year.

                  1. re: Fake Name

                    Looks like these guys hit their goal. Clearly, $50k wasn't too high a goal for a North Park butcher shop (what do i know?). Good for them, congrats.

                      1. re: Fake Name

                        Agreed, $50k isn't enough to open a shop, but the market deemed it an attainable goal via the kickstarter model. Plus, they didn't give up any equity in this "first" round. Clearly, what a company raises via kickstarter and what it needs to become a viable business is, again, totally unknown to those donating. Case in point, the downtown public market. They kickstarted $150k in August 2012. 14 months later, they have cancelled their sun/wed. farmers markets and they have a bake sale scheduled this weekend. Hmmm. Was their original goal on KS too low? Clearly, but that first bit got em off the ground. Time will tell for the butchery, but I would think this might be a good story to tell the next round of investors.

                        1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                          I followed the Kickstarter and put up with the pervasive and perpetual Facebook posts about the kickstarter. They only had about $30k up until the last 3 days. Not sure if that is how Kickstarters typically go or not. Regardless, congrats to them and I look forward to them opening.

                          1. re: MrKrispy

                            Yeah Kickstarters usually start with a large bump, go through a lull, and then there's a last minute bump *if* the project looks like it'll get funded.

                            As of a few days ago I thought they weren't going to get that last push, but it looks like someone bought the $10k option which brought the overall total much much closer to funding-looking-viable territory, thus spurring a lot of last minute buying.

                            Good on them – I met both of them towards the beginning of the KS and they are both friendly as can be, and we could always use more of these kinds of businesses.

                            1. re: Seiji

                              I wouldn't be surprised if most KS campaigns get a bit of self-funding towards the end if it looks like they have a shot at being successful.

                              If I am trying to raise 50k and am 10k short of my goal, why wouldn't I have "dad" or "mom" buy a higher priced pledge. At a 10k pledge, I get $9200 of it back if I reach my goal (KS takes 5% and amazon payments takes 3%). If I don't reach the goal, it doesn't cost me a dime. So, for $800, I get the other $40k (minus reward costs) that I would lose if I didn't hit the goal. I would say that is pretty cheap money.

                          2. re: Stiflers_Mom

                            I thought SD Public Market closed their farmers market because of construction, and it would reopen - along with much more - after construction is done.

                            1. re: phee

                              Also, the winter season. Didn't they really scale back the farmers market last winter?

                              And yes, they are starting construction on the kitchen.

                              1. re: foodiechick

                                I stopped by the public market yesterday for the cake bake event, held in the same hall for the former farmers markets. I didn't see any evidence of construction in that section - not sure why you could hold a special event, but not a farmers market - guessing it's a demand issue. To foodiechick's point about scaling back a market during winter - not sure why a market operator would scale back a market (i.e. turn away daily renters) when they have plenty of space available. Again, I think a lack of demand would force vendors to drop out. Also, isn't the kitchen in a totally separate area of the complex that wouldn't affect a weekly market?

                                Have to agree with Mr. Name after checking it out again yesterday - they must have another source of capital to keep it going. Again, the beauty of Kickstarter for a company with a story to tell - raise capital and keep equity without having to really open the books.

                                1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                  Can't imagine why they wouldn't want vendors, I mean, Little Italy and other local farmers markets run year round. Maybe it's their location.

                                  1. re: cstr

                                    Good point cstr -- I love farmers markets, but have no compelling reason to drive ALL the way down to the Barrio when I've got the PB, La Jolla, and Little Italy markets all closer to me.

                                    1. re: bizzwriter

                                      Pretty telling post/comments from the Public Market on their Facebook timeline yesterday. Sounds like the "closing market for kitchen renovation" position has changed to more of a "working to keep the project alive" and "talking with dev partners to make the financial side make more sense" position.

                                      I'm thinking when a company starts posting this type of info in response to Facebook comments, things are looking pretty dark.


                                      1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                        Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. I didn't think the model fit the needs of the area. The word missing is 'affordable'.

                                        1. re: cstr

                                          Agree - there is one thing to try to support potentially under developed areas but it's another thing at the same time trying to start a new business which relies on customer paying "extra" money. In addition I found the location with its old warehouse dark and out of place for the business they wanted to start.

                                          1. re: honkman

                                            "Under developed..." You are being very polite.

                                          2. re: cstr

                                            Apparently, this turned into a spirited debate on the Twitter last night and the UT picked it up:


                                            1. re: Stiflers_Mom


                                              I agree with the very first poster on the UT site, Harold Schwartz, who correctly summed it up: "Location, location, location". This simply isn't the place for a "Pikes Place".

                                              If we wanted something approaching a "Pikes Place" in SD, it should have been built where Petco Park is. Petco in turn should have been built about six blocks further east. And if both of those things had happened, the whole area west of Park Blvd. would have turned out very differently! IMO.

                                              1. re: DoctorChow


                                                But space where Petco is ain't cheap enough.

                                                It was a gamble- build a market with strong enough attraction to get people to travel to a location where the rent is affordable. But with so many options- Hillcrest and LI, I had no reason to travel.

                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                  I'd be curious to know how valuable the land where Petco is located was at the time the original downtown farmers market burned down.

                                                  Moot though, at this point. No hopes for a "Pike Place" downtown anymore -- for the reason you cited. But just imagine the impact on the food scene in that area if one were there!

                                                  Just dreaming...

                                                  1. re: DoctorChow

                                                    Ha Ha -- love how I spelled Pike Place! Yes, there's definitely no room for Pikes Peak downtown. Never was. Unless that's a restaurant where they sell paddy melts.

                                                  2. re: Fake Name

                                                    'build a market with strong enough attraction to get people to travel to a location where the rent is affordable' The issue is that there is no attraction, maybe the rent was affordable but, not the product.

                                                    1. re: cstr

                                                      Yeah- that's what I said.

                                                      I think.

            3. I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, since I am a guy that expects a spoon at a restaurant that serves soup, but...
              Are you implying that there are no "real" butcher shops in SD? Yes I live in north county, and I have T&H for sausage and Tip Top meats, Major Market has a full service meat counter with butchers. Heck even Seaside market has a good meat counter. In SD proper what about Seisels and Iowa? So what is going to make them different from anyone else?

              4 Replies
              1. re: littlestevie

                Ditto. While I look forward to their opening, it's not like we are without some pretty good butcher offerings. In addition to Seisels and Iowa, in my own neighborhood I can also shop at Whole paycheck, Jonathan's and Home Grown Meats (all of which have real butchers behind the counter.

                1. re: foodiechick

                  Well, I won't don't dignify North County as being in San Diego ;)

                  I go to Siesel's a lot since it is close by, I like it. They aren't exactly known as a joyful full service butcher though. A lot of the meat is straightforward factory farm meat (not all) and corn fed beef. I'd like the option for grassfed and So-Cal sourced meats. More importantly and in regards to this new place is the subscription service, that sounds pretty cool to me.

                  1. re: MrKrispy

                    Ok, mayyybe my phrasing was a little strong, I think I just got excited. Tip Top and Homegrown are great, but I've had issues with Siesel's and Iowa. While they have some decent stuff in the case, they've looked at me crazy when I've wanted a fresh pork belly (not frozen) larger than half a pound. They've also been fairly rude and unaccommodating to me when I've asked for bones, various offal, and pork fat, all on separate occasions, even when I've called ahead. I'll be thrilled to have a quality and varied meat vendor in less than than a 45min to 1hr round trip drive.

                  2. re: foodiechick

                    Yeah, triple ditto on this. I thought, okay, is Iowa a figment of our imagination?

                2. While we may have other REAL butchers here in San Diego, the difference and key selling point for me is the fact the meat will come from pastured and grass-fed animals.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: phee

                    So does Home Grown Meats, which is also carried by Whole Foods.

                    1. re: foodiechick

                      I didn't think Homegrown Meats had all the offerings this new place lists.

                      1. re: phee

                        Major Market is also now carrying grass fed and pastured beef.

                        1. re: phee

                          More than likely, if you call for a particular cut, they'll be able to get it for you. That's what butcher shops do best.

                          1. re: cstr

                            Yep, got that. I meant all the different types of meat - more than just beef.

                            1. re: phee

                              They carry many kinds in their brick and mortar shop. They can even get rabbit and heirloom birds for Thanksgiving.

                              1. re: foodiechick

                                Good to know, foodiechick - thank you. I've not been and their website doesn't indicate they go beyond beef.


                        Looks like these guys open tomorrow. Not sure if the Eater photo is up-to-date or indicative of current pricing, but @ $14.99/lb. for bone-in pork butt, I would say those are some $10-$15 fat caps on those butts.

                        If any of the craft taquerias in North Park begin sourcing from these guys, we're gonna be looking at $6-$7 tacos in the near term ;).

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                          " I would say those are some $10-$15 fat caps on those butts."

                          I look at that and see beautifully rendered natural pork lard! Worth every penny.

                          1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                            "I look at that and see beautifully rendered natural pork lard! Worth every penny."

                            BOOM! Craft Lard - available Spring 2015 at local farmers markets in San Diego.

                            1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                              Boom! Duck, Chicken, Pork, and Beef, heritage free range lard. Brilliant!

                              1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                Boom! Wait til those crazy hipsters in Colorado read this thread and start infusing lard with mary jane for cooking some stoney ass carnitas...

                                Now, if we could only figure out how to market various bone broths for $8-$10 a quart....

                                Where's David Hannum when you need him?

                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                      Craft B words:

                                      Broth > $8/qt. (litre in Berlin)
                                      Butt > $15/ lb.
                                      Beer > $7/pt.
                                      Brewed Coffee (ok, a bit of a reach) > $3.50/12 oz.
                                      Bavarian Creme Donut > $48/ doz.

                                      I see an upward pricing trend in the craft economy.

                                  1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                    They could do (ahem) flights of tacos infused with lard and/or tallow ... or suet to go with the borrego.

                                      1. re: The Office Goat

                                        The dish for which San Diego will become famous and achieve culinary A-list status...

                                        Carne Asada Fries...hand cut fries from heirloom potatoes grown in the rolling hills of Julian and then fried in craft lard infused with the essence of cannabis. Topped with grilled skirt steak from the happy cows on Mt. Palomar and shredded cheddar cheese made from an old family recipe. The tomatoes for the pico de gallo and curated selection of salsas were grown on the (name of restaurant) rooftop. The avocados for the guacamole are from the trees of a small Fallbrook farm that withstood the SD fires of 2004 and 2008. We also clabbered our own milk for the sour cream....$$If you have to ask, you can't afford it

                                        El Boom...

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              What ever you had for breakfast I want some of it now

                                              1. re: honkman

                                                Fage + an apple + chia seeds

                                                Must have been the chia...

                                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                                aaaand DD wins the internet this week.

                                            2. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                              I did use a combo of whipped duck lard and whipped pork lard (from cook pigs) in my latest batch of Masa for tamales (cook pigs carnitas, chicken, and Hatch green chile & panela cheese flavored). What a massive difference in taste and texture from masa made with Crisco.

                                              1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                                I've always wondered why people make tamales with Crisco, or that fake white brick lard.

                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                  For vegetarians. I feel bad I didn't tell my vegetarian daughter about the lard (there was pork and chicken broth in the masa as well), but my wife had already made her some and she seemed very happy eating them (chile & cheese), so I didn't want to ruin her meal.

                                                  Am I a bad Dad?

                                                  First time I've whipped and creamed the lard separately. So much better (fluffier).

                                                  1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                                    Craft Lard Foam is sweeping the land, as we speak.

                                                  2. re: DiningDiva

                                                    The only way to make tortillas/masa is with lard. Flavorless otherwise.

                                                    1. re: DoctorChow

                                                      And all the juice from your meat that you are going to be filling them with!

                                      2. Well I made my own nitrate/nitrite free bacon again with a pork belly from Cook Pigs (along with a bone in shoulder, a pork tenderloin, a rack of ribs, two chickens, a double turkey breast, a Tri-Tip, and a beef brisket) . Bacon turned out just fantastic again. Even though I didn't use any nitrate/nitrite, my homemade paprika in my salt/sugar cure still gave it a nice pink color.

                                        Now that I have a decent food slicer I want to do this on a larger scale. Say do 6 to 8 bellies at a time (vacuum seal and freeze to give as gifts to friends and family). Cook Pigs is great quality, but just too damn expensive at like $13/lb for their pork belly.

                                        If you follow any of the other smoking forums, many people are getting their pork belly for as little as $3.50/lb. Anybody know of any place in SD county where I can get some decent quality pork belly for under $8/lb? I called Heart and trotter and they want $14/lb! I'm sure there has to be a number of places around the county. Would love to find a Costco that sells bellies. Guess I'll try Tip-Top next to see what they can do.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                          Define decent quality - compared to Cook Pigs very little will be on the same level qualitywise (I haven't worked with their pork belly yet but had their products often in restaurants ). I have made bacon from pork belly purchased at WholeFoods (LJ) and Luck Seafood - both produced good products and should be in your desired price range. Why are you making your vacon nitrate/nitrite free ?

                                          1. re: honkman

                                            Thanks Honkman. I will give Whole foods a try and thanks deckape for reminding me about Zion. Will try H-Mart too as they have a pretty good meat section.

                                            The reason for nitrate/nitrite free is because I can, it's something that you just can't buy, and perhaps most importantly I don't want or need it. I would like to get away from processed meats in general. My new food slicer allows me to create my own bacon and deli meats much more efficiently (and more attractively) than before.

                                            Although the data is not definitive by any means, there does seem to be some indication of a link between nitrate/nitrites and colo-rectal cancers. And yes, I do realize that many vegetables are high in nitrates, but they usually have other components (vitamins like ascorbic acid, etc) that help limit the conversion to nitrites within the body.

                                            1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                              The problem with H-Mart is that they don't have a meat counter but just prepacked meat, including pork belly in nothing larger than ~1lb.

                                            2. re: honkman

                                              Another possibility would be DeLa Ranch (at LI Farmers Market and others). The price is not $8/lb but cheaper than $13/lb. You can order online and pick it up at the Farmers Market.


                                            3. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                              Dunno if it'll meet your quality reqs but I get all my pork belly needs met at Zion Market.

                                              1. re: deckape

                                                Hello deckape. Wanted to thank you for the Zion Market suggestion! Ended up getting a 10 lb boneless pork belly for $4.89/lb. They only had small pieces or sliced belly available, but I asked a guy in the meat department about whole bellies and he gladly brought out a huge box full of bellies and let me choose one. Lots of meat and fat marbling. I also bought two duck breasts to try my hand at duck bacon.

                                                I cut the belly in half and did a quick (3 hr) cure in a concentrated brine of salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, and my homemade paprika (same with duck breasts). Then directly onto the smoker with apple, pear, and pomegranate woods. Smoked at 160 F for four hours (until internal temp of 145 f) and it came out flippin stupendous! The duck came off earlier (2.75 hours), but is perhaps one of the best things I have ever tasted!

                                                Thanks again for the suggestion!

                                              2. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                                                Have you tried the Costco business center on Convoy? I'm not sure they carry pork bellies, but their meat selection tends more towards the trade than a regular Costco