When I first ventured into vegetarianism, I gazed longingly at each slice of pepperoni pizza that passed in front of my eyes. I found myself wondering how I would go the rest of my life without that taste and texture. Luckily, over the years, meat alternative brands increased in popularity such as Gardein and LightLife. However, options can be limited, lack necessary nutrients and lack intriguing flavors. That’s why the sister and brother duo Aubry and Kale Walch set out to start something new: a vegan butcher shop. For those looking for a meat alternative that truly makes you feel as though you’ve just eaten an authentic meat product, The Herbivorous Butcher is a must try.
What began as a small stand at a Minneapolis farmers market in 2014 eventually turned into the most successful “vegan” Kickstarter campaign raising over $61,000 with a pledged goal of only $50,000 to build a brick and mortar location. A couple years later, the sibling duo successfully opened their butcher shop in Minneapolis. The siblings cite inhumane and unsustainable practices of the meat industry along with increasing greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and water pollution as reasons spurring them to promote veganism and provide the public with vegan products. They didn’t want to do so through just any route, though. Instead, the siblings wanted to provide customers with a unique venue filled with creative vegan meats and cheeses, two products that are difficult to re-create without animal products.
If creativity and flavor are things you’re lacking in your vegan diet, you won’t be let down at this 100% vegan butcher shop as it provides customers with an experience unlike any other. You’ll find meat-free meats, deli meats, jerky and cheese-free cheeses available for purchase. Different from some meat alternatives that lack necessary nutrients, the siblings worked to create meat products packed with protein and B-vitamins to supplement a vegan’s diet. The meat products range from sausages, to brats, to ribs, to chicken, to pastrami, with a total of 20 varieties. The butcher shop prepares multiple cheese-free cheeses ranging from typical cheese flavors like American and mozzarella to more unique options like garlic pepper Havarti and bacon cheddar. Jerky flavors come in salt n’ peppa, teriyaki, Korean and Cajun. The Herbivorous Butcher’s website provides detailed descriptions for all of the products, nutritional information for those interested in calories or other dietary concerns and possible recipes to try out. The butcher shop gladly accepts additional recipes when sent with a list of ingredients, instructions and a photo to [email protected].
There are two online options to consider if you’re not located in the Minneapolis area. The first available item for shipping is the Vegan Starter Kit priced at $135. It comes packed with ten of the shop’s most popular products, meal plans and recipes. All-in-all, the kit provides meat-free meats for 24 meals and 6 snacks. Items inside vary from maple sage breakfast sausage, to teriyaki jerky, to porterhouse steak. The second option is the Vegan Jerky Sampler which features all three jerky flavors.
If the sound of a vegan butcher shop sounds intriguing enough to work at, the butcher shop is currently looking to add to their team by hiring a back-of-house butcher with similar interests and passions. For those interested in pursuing a vegetarian or vegan diet, take a look at this starter guide.
About the Author
Carrie Gavit is a recent grad of the University of Texas at Austin. She received her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies and studied the U.S. slaughterhouse industry. Follow her @CarrieGavit.
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