Back in September we told you about Belcampo Meat Co., the new sustainable meat venture from Slow Food Nation and Eat Real Fest founder Anya Fernald and partner Todd Robinson. Friday marked the soft opening of the butcher shop and restaurant at Marin County Mart in Larkspur, but the business goes beyond just sandwiches and a meat counter — they’re pioneering a new model for humane, whole-animal meat production beginning with their own farm in the Shasta Valley, and their own Temple Grandin-designed slaughter facilty in Yreka. In addition to beef, they’re raising and selling their own pork, goat, chicken, squab, rabbit, and more. And for those who might be disinclined to go to Marin for their meat, you can look forward to Belcampo opening a San Francisco shop next spring, location TBA.
Fernald founded Belcampo as a means to filling one of the biggest gaps in what she refers to as the Good Food Movement, namely a true farm-to-table meat experience at the retail level. Certainly, for the time being, it’s going to mean meat that isn’t necessarily cheap, but by controlling each stage in its production, she’s hoping to keep costs down. And even though it’s just one butcher shop and restaurant at the moment, it has to start somewhere. “The system that subsidizes cheap calories is deeply flawed,” as she said in a recent chat. “That system needs to fracture and fail, that will happen slowly over the next ten to thirty years I think.”
Also, Fernald has always wanted to make the food movement, and the presentation of high quality food products, as unpretentious as possible, which extends to the training of employees at Belcampo. “No one wants to be stared down by the guy behind the counter because they pronounced something wrong,” she says.
The butcher counter at the new Larkspur shop sells some less common items that have mostly been the purview of restaurant suppliers, like sweetbreads and marrow bones, as well as stuff like bacon, sausage, salumi, and terrines — all part of the company’s ethos for minimizing waste and utilizing whole animals. (See some photos at Thrillist.)
The counter-service restaurant, now open only for breakfast and lunch, features a 21-day dry-aged burger, sloppy joes, and French dips, as well as a bunch of vegetable sides. The shop features other stuff too, including Blue Bottle Coffee, food products from local artisans, farm fresh eggs, and homemade doughnuts.
And for the holidays, this would be a good source for geese, and they’ll be doing premade stuff for take-home purposes like cassoulet.
We’ll alert you as soon as they’re ready to go public with the S.F. shop location.
Belcampo Meat Co. - Marin County Mart, 2405 Larkspur Landing Circle, Building 4 - 415-448-5810 - Open daily, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Restaurant open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Belcampo Meat Co. [Thrillist]