Meat club: Edmonton butcher shop recruiting customers

The first rule of Edmonton's new meat club: You talk about meat club.

The men behind Porc Salé are trying to get the word out about their new business and subscription service.

For a $40 monthly fee, the new charcuterie shop will offer cured cuts to meat club members. Customers will get either monthly or biweekly rations of the best meats available in store.

The service will be offered out of their new "boutique butchery," located under The Almanac restaurant on Whyte Avenue.

"We are in Old Strathcona, and we know that people in that area live in apartments and small houses and they don't have big chest freezers like our parents do," chef and butcher Mark Kalynchuk said in an interview Wednesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. 

For these Edmontonians, heading to Costco and stocking up on mass quantities of meat isn't necessarily the best option.

"We want to give them a subscription of sorts so they can stop by and get their bacon, stock and sausage, and it doesn't take up a lot of space in their fridge or freezer," Kalynchuk said. 

Carving out a new business plan

Kalynchuk has partnered with Edmonton chef Ryan Gallivan on the new endeavour.

The subscription service is based loosely on Meat Me, a similar cooperative in Vancouver where customers can bid on a percentage of a slaughtered cow, Kalynchuk said. 

"They bring in a cow and you go online and can buy a certain percentage of that cow, or a certain share of that cow, but that's pretty complicated," Kalynchuk said.

"So we thought we could do it small scale and the idea just grew from there." 

The store will be specializing in high-quality cured meats, like black pepper and brown sugar dry cured bacon, smoked ham, and sage-maple syrup sausage.

Their product is sourced exclusively from Bear and The Flower Farm, a free-range, hormone-free pork farm near Airdrie. 

Once production ramps us, Kalynchuk said, customers will be able to get add-ons to their meat subscription.

​"If you're having company over, you can have burgers and steaks, sausage or more bacon," he said.

Porc Salé opens this week, and its first selection of meats are already cured and smoked.

Kalynchuk is confident Edmonton customers will be hungry for the new butcher shop.

"We've done a couple of events and people seem excited about it," Kalynchuk said. 

"With the recent uptake in butcher shops opening up, I think people are really starting to focus on getting things close to home."