Photo by Katherine Harris
Well, I guess it's about time for another sibling. Cheesmonger Benjamin Roberts told me that they are hard at work on a new project: The St. Paul Meat Shop. Already under construction, the crew is launching a butcher shop right down Grand Ave. from the cheese shop, in a former hair salon next to Ace Hardware.
The butcher shop will feature whole animal butchery of pasture-raised beef. "We’re spending a ton of time on sourcing to make sure that our meat is the best there is. There is a lot of grass-fed beef out there and not all of it is delicious. Same goes for pork etc," noted Roberts.
The space has been gutted down to the studs, and the new design will allow for some seating and ... wait for it ... a new sandwich menu focused on deli classics. HELLO if you haven't had the ground-shaking cheese sandwiches from the cheese shops, I might question your local cred. The sandwiches at the meat shop will be different, Roberts said they'll compliment and not compete with the sandwiches up the block. This immediately gave me an idea for a competitive sandwich crawl situation, but I have to let that one fully form before I bring it to you.
One thing you can be sure of, the new shop will be a paragon of service and knowledge. I don't know how many times I've wandered into France44 and stood staring at the cheese bin, not knowing what I wanted outside of "cheese". Peter Cusic and his crew over there always introduce me to something new and give me something to think about on the way out the door. Roberts promises the same level of service at the new shop, "We love our brand and how well we take care of our customers. We’ve become super comfortable with the quality of food that we produce and how we present ourselves. It’s really been an amazing learning experience for me these past 7 years of doing this."
So yeah. St. Paul continues to draw my jealousy, and my admiration.