Bellingham, Wash. residents have a new place to shop for Northwest meats at Carne Bellingham, a butcher shop on State Street next to New York Pizza.
While the store is currently open with a limited selection of meat, it will have an official grand opening in a few weeks with a fuller selection of meats.
As a butcher for Haggen and Fred Meyer, Carne owner Chad Johnson said he realized Bellingham was lacking a local butcher shop. He spent two years planning his news business.
“People kept asking about local and grass-fed [meats],” Johnson said. “[Grocery stores] didn’t carry any of that stuff so that started building this idea.”
To fund the business, Johnson took the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. He nearly tripled his goal of $7,500 and received nearly $18,000.
Prior to launching on Kickstarter, Johnson and his wife Anna researched health codes and how to run a business.
College students on a tight budget will be able to afford meat at Carne, Johnson said.
One pound of ground beef costs $4 at both Carne and Haggen ground beef, he said.
“I would go [to Carne] if it seemed like the best place to get what I wanted,” said Brian Calloway, a recent Western graduate. “If I want a slab of meat to eat, I’ll probably get it wherever it is cheapest.”
Calloway buys his meat wherever it is it seems the most economically logical, he said.
“We can help college students realize that they can eat really good stuff on a budget; you just have to pick the right things,” Johnson said. “There is something here for you and we can help you learn how to eat local and sustainably on any budget.”
Johnson said he hopes to educate college students about high-quality meats and plans to offer prices that will fit a college budget.
“My family and I haven’t much been buying locally,” Brie Palmer said, a former Western student.
Purchasing from a butcher is something she may try, but it is outside of her comfort zone since she has not purchased from a butcher shop before, she said.
“We’re really excited to be here, especially for the college folks,” Johnson said. “We really want to help educate people on food and beef specifically.”
Freeman Palmer values the quality of meat he purchases and would consider visiting the butcher shop.“If it’s got a good reputation for good meat then I would do it,” Palmer said.
Carne’s meat comes from only Washington and Oregon, with the exception of Kobe beef from Idaho. Much of the meat is from grass-fed animals, but even the meat that was not raised grass-fed is high-quality, Johnson said.
“Everything is from farmers and ranchers who we know are raising their animals ethically and in the best way possible,” Johnson said.
Carne will offer its full selection of meats upon its official grand opening in a few weeks and is in the process