In November, Slow Food vet Anya Fernald opened the first of several retail operations for her new sustainable, totally vertical meat operation, Belcampo Meat Company, in Marin County. Today, SF Weekly's Anna Roth reviews the place, calling this new temple of meat "a singularly pleasurable experience," and raving about everything from a beef cheek hash at brunch, to a Middle Eastern-spiced goat sandwich offered as a special at one lunch. Now it looks like plans for a San Francisco branch have been put off in favor of some southerly expansion. Fernald tells Roth that she's hoping to open a shop in Palo Alto by summer, and another down in Los Angeles sometime this year. "It's not very profitable to raise meat the way you're supposed to," she admits. "The business is more viable with three or four more stores open."
As discussed before, Belcampo has offices in Oakland, the new butcher shop and restaurant in Larkspur (see the menu here), a farm in the Shasta Valley, and its own Temple Grandin-designed slaughterhouse in Yreka. In addition to beef, they're currently raising their own pork, goat, chicken, squab, and rabbit, and they've got a coffee and cacao farm that doubles as an eco-tourism lodge in Belize.
Fernald is a tireless, and inspiring, advocate for good food and sustainable farming, and she's always been a pragmatist who's able to get stuff done. She tells Roth that the decision to raise heritage breeds of cows and pigs isn't about fashion so much as it is about the animals' ability to thrive in marginal environments. And she's trying to create a model for meat production that can work for omnivores in the future, if and when the industrial farm complex implodes.
Also, the delay in opening a San Francisco shop which she's now thinking might be in early 2014, possibly in the Financial District is because she wants to go first "to areas where there's less product available."
We'll let you know when those addresses in L.A. and Palo Alto are made public.
Belcampo's Anya Fernald on Expansion Plans, Why Their Meat is Hard to Beat [SF Weekly]
Belcampo Meat Co.: No Country for Vegetarians [SF Weekly]
Earlier: Belcampo Meat Company, a New Model for Sustainable Meat, Opens in Marin [Grub Street SF]