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We San Diegans like things crafty.

We shop for locally-sourced produce and homemade hummus at the farmers’ market.

We drink hop-heavy beers at neighborhood gastropubs and sip artisanal cocktails in Downtown speakeasies.

We slather organic jelly on home-baked bread and douse handmade sausage links in pungent, home-fermented kim chee.

Now, we can add farm-fresh flesh to our roster of regional, sustainable bounties with the opening of The Heart & Trotter Butchery.

The whole-animal butchery (organs and all) is set to open in North Park this November following a handful of special events with top local chefs, restaurants, and breweries.

“The Heart and Trotter will bring back the neighborhood butcher shop that has seemed to have disappeared due to the big box stores,” says Trey Nichols, who co-founded the endeavor with James Holtslag.

“As a city we are caring more and more about where and how food was raised and we intend to help facilitate this way of life.”

“A whole animal butcher shop is a rare thing these days,” says lead butcher Holtslag.

“There are only a handful of real whole animal butcher shops in the U.S. The vast majority of butcher shops, meat markets and grocery stores receive some if not all of their meat in boxes. As a whole animal butcher shop, we will buy, receive, and utilize the whole animal, including the organs. We will make specialty items such as pates, sausages, stocks, headcheese, dog food and so on. Nothing goes to waste. Completely sustainable.”

Holtslag’s training includes time with like-minded butchers Lindy & Grundy from Los Angeles, who share his straight-forward philosophy towards food.

“If you can’t make it at home, don’t eat it,” Holtslag says.

“I think meat should be consumed in moderation and not at every meal. Our shop will actually be closed every Monday for ‘No meat Mondays.’ “

Aside from the house-made meat products such as pates, rilletes and dog food, The Heart and Trotter will also sell local organic vegetables from local farms and other organic products, such as jams and sauces.

“This isn’t just our butcher shop,” says Nichols. “This is a butcher shop for San Diego with local products from local ranchers and farmers and we’re excited to have the community support us in its opening.”

In anticipation of their November opening, The Heart & Trotter Butchery is launching a Kickstarter campaign on September 15 with a goal of $50,000 to support costs of opening a brick and mortar shop, operating butchering classes, and a CSA program.

Rewards for backing the Kickstarter include sausage packages, T-Shirts, and butchering classes, among others.

On September 16, Holtslag and Nichols will be teaming up with Chef Matt Gordon at his new restaurant, Sea & Smoke, for a “Turf by the Surf” event featuring a butchering demo and four-course meal of beef, pork and rabbit.

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Mercy Baron Sept. 10, 2013 @ 5:35 p.m.

These guys are awesome and really have some quality meat to offer. I went to a private party in my hood and they were cooking up some of the freshest burgers, you could still hear it mooing! They also sold the butchered cow in neat air tight packages to the party goers. I highly recommend any event they are at and can't wait for their butcher shop to open!


Visduh Sept. 10, 2013 @ 8:23 p.m.

This may be a great place to buy meat, especially cuts that the supers no longer offer (for reasons that are a mystery.) But expect many comments from the vegans and from PETA and a host of others who don't like the idea of animals as food for humans.


Sierrasniper Sept. 11, 2013 @ 4:11 a.m.

PETA perverts come around...toss em on the block and bring out the saw. it would be the most popular place in town.


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