Grand opening this Saturday for The Piggery's newly expanded locavore butcher shop

November 15, 2013

The Piggery, a local, family-run pig farm that got its start selling at a small Ithaca Farmers Market booth and offering CSA farm shares delivered through the former Garden Gate Delivery service, is celebrating the opening of its expanded butcher shop this Saturday on Ithaca's northside. 

Brad and Heather at their Ithaca Farmers Market booth, back in the day.Brad and Heather at their Ithaca Farmers Market booth, back in the day.Just across Route 13 from the Farmers Market, and next door to the Red Feet Wines shop where they offered their wares on Saturdays when they couldn't have a Farmers Market stall, The Piggery's new butcher shop will have room not just for their own pork and charcuterie, but also for beef, chicken, rabbit, eggs, and food items from several other local farms and producers.

The festivities will run from 10am to 3pm this Saturday, November 16th, with free bacon chocolate chip cookies, and staff on hand to answer questions about the Piggery's products and the farm. The Good Truck, a local-focused food truck that specializes in locavore tacos, including vegan offerings, will be on hand serving those as well as Piggery pulled pork sliders and pig dogs. The butcher shop is located at 423 Franklin Street, just off Third Street, in a building formerly occupied by Buzz Coffee and the Orange Blossom Pancake Company.

The Piggery took over the small Buzz Coffee eatery about three and a half years ago, continuing to serve freshly brewed coffee and breakfast sandwiches (but with locally produced pork and pastured eggs) and adding a variety of sandwiches, burritos, and other items made largely from local ingredients, as well as a small meat case. They then expanded into the space vacated by the Orange Blossom Pancake Company, which enabled them to serve lots of prepared food (including fun wing nights with free live music) and maintain a butcher shop for retail sales of the pork, cold cuts and other charcuterie, and a few other farms' items.

Heather Sandford and Brad Marshall, the wife-and-husband pair who own the farm and the butcher shop, made the decision earlier this year to pursue a USDA processing license. Announced in May, the license will allow the Piggery to offer a full-fledged meat processing operation for their own meats as well as those of other farms, and will let them wholesale meat to other outlets, such as stores and restaurants, as well as sell processed meats (such as cold cuts and sausages) to caterers. The trade-off was that the new USDA license would not allow them to continue operating a restaurant in the same space, so the Piggery Deli closed in late May to allow the pair to begin renovating the space over the summer.

Saturday's gathering will be the first chance for the public to see the newly refitted butcher shop, and will also feature two raffles, one for a CSA share and another for a local Thanksgiving turkey or ham, to benefit the Meat Locker Project.

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