St. Louis-based chef Chris Bolyard is trying to take the meat shop back to its roots. Bolyard, formerly of the city's Sidney Street Café, will be opening up Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions, in a 1600-square-foot former theater, in the Maplewood neighborhood this fall. The two important things to know about the new meat shop are that the meat sold is guaranteed to come from animals thatg have been raised humanely and responsibly, and that the whole animal will always be used — from making regular cuts, smoked meats, and sausage to beef jerky, deli meats, and even dog food.
“Most meat markets today get in ‘case ready’ cuts from huge packing companies," says Bolyard. "There is zero connection to the community. Old-school shops, those from a few decades ago, before the rise of huge packing houses and processing plants, acted as a middleman between the local farmers and the urban consumers. The butcher had a handful of local ranchers that he knew and trusted, the farm was close, the processer was close, and the meat came in whole and fresh a few times a week. That’s what were going back to. Supporting our local economy and the farmers who practice good animal husbandry.”
That means that the meat shop will only work with local farmers who raise their animals on pasture without cages, crates, or harmful hormones. In the future, Bolyard will install a “grab and go” station with various types of sandwiches, but for now he’s focusing on revolutionizing the retail meat scene in St. Louis.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi