New Plans aka The New Gala

As anyone that has ever started their own business knows, plans always change. Always. Sometimes for the better and unfortunately, other times for the worse. This is thankfully a time that nearly every change in my plan is an improvement.

As I announced last week, Tressa and I have found a new space. We will be located in Northwest Portland as of May 1st, in a converted house with two kitchens. It is perfect for us, with tons of space for both of our businesses to grow as well as encourage the collaboration we both value so much. We have space for holding intimate dinners and a huge backyard for bigger events. We have wrangled, pruned, rototilled and will soon plant a garden to surround the solid wood picnic tables we built. The wood of the tables and raised beds is a perfect match for the glowing hazelnut shells we laid down. I am going to dig an Imu, a Hawaiian-style roasting pit, for use in events and dinners all year. It will, of course need a Northwestern addition, rain shelter. In our four garden beds, we'll be able to grow much of the food we cook with. We've also got a roof that is accessible and perfectly pitched toward the sun, an ideal place for lying drying mats for herbs, tomatoes and sprouting seeds.

My partnership and on a personal level, friendship with Tressa has been instrumental in my growth. We are both on similar paths with the philosophies that drive our practices in the food world. The move to a new space together solidifies that connection. Salt, Fire & Time and The Ethical Butcher will be under one roof, bringing good, honest, local food to the table and building momentum for change. Forget the labels, it is time for the proof in the proverbial pudding. A sticker only says so much-meet a real farmer, taste ripe strawberries and wild salmon in June, not December and cook at home once in a while. It is all pretty normal stuff when you get down to it. Would someone have eaten this 100 years ago? A "no" is dubious, but not not the end I tried to leave absolutes behind with my vegetarianism. Life is just to bleeping good to waste it killing your body with bad food, but it isn't worth it to hold yourself back from the pleasures of life. The changes don't have to be extravagant or expensive, and the elitism around "sustainable" food does more harm than good. Tressa and I look to be open sources of information and delicious and healthy food that makes no concessions on flavor, ingredients or sourcing.

I am so overjoyed with where this year has taken me. The Ethical Butcher blog has turned into my business, one that will hopefully soon be more than off the ground. I hope to change the discourse into one that is more relaxed, personal and approachable. The dinners have been a great tool for talking with folks about these ideas. The exchanges are always wonderful and I notice on many occasions diners trading cards and numbers after dinner. Farmers and writers sit next to artists and schoolteachers. The conversation is lively and the food and wine keep it going. The new space has potential to be even more dynamic, so I look forward this summer! The dinners have also been a fun way to introduce many of my bacon flavors before they were available for purchase. It has been 4 months of many unexpected hurdles, but I am finally in a space where it is possible!!

As I said in a previous post, The Ethical Butcher Bacon Gospel has a new face for BCN/PDX!

BCN/PDX Fridays is the best way to enjoy the wealth of variety in bacon flavors! It will be a new twist on the bacon-of-the-month club, using only local, heritage meats in a choice of monthly flavors. Folks can sign up for a year, six months or buy on BCN/PDX Lazy Fridays, when extra slabs will be sold on the spot. Doing the project like this helps me buy the best heritage breed meat, as I can buy from the smaller farms that can't sell a few pounds of meat at a time. One pig gives enough belly for 12-15 slabs of my bacon. Having a predictable base of customers to use that amount ensures that waste will not drive my prices higher than I want to. While BCN/PDX Lazy Fridays will be a way to buy without commitment, market prices will reflect the true cost of this product. The savings for members of BCN/PDX Fridays over what I need to charge for retail is considerable. At the $10 per pound for the year membership, specialty cured heritage breed pork, handmade locally is available at for the same or less than the commercially made bacon at natural food stores. The added bonus is that many of the farms I use are too small to sell to stores or restaurants. This is a product that isn't available in any meat department, regardless of price.

Check out the new site at http://theethicalbutcher.com/ for more details!

Now it is time to celebrate both the move and launch of BCN/PDX Fridays! It has been a long time coming and The Ethical Butcher is showing thanks for all the support with a big bacon party!

BCN/PDX Fridays Launch Party will be Friday April 30th. All sorts of tasty vittels and 3 flavors of bacon will be available for tasting. Chat it up with other bacon fans and be the first to join BCN/PDX Fridays! The flavors for the first BCN/PDX will be announced and those who sign up that night will get a very special added bonus!

No reservations needed this time around.
$10 at the door, guests invited to provide their own beverages.

BCN/PDX Fridays Launch Party
April 30th 7pm
609 SE Ankeny St. Unit A

See you there!

And check this out! What an honor! Thanks Grist!!

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