If Bill the Butcher ever had to change its name, I could only think of one replacement that would be equally suitable and catchy: Barry the Butcher. Well, thatâ€™s who we meet today – Barry Mang, head butcher at the shop over in Magnolia. Tall, friendly, and self-effacing, Barry talks with a certain gathered concentration in his voice. He chooses his words carefully; he stares out the window when I ask him a question, and then as if pulling the answer right out of the blue sky, he returns it with a twinkle in his eye. It was a pleasure meeting Barry; he’sÂ professional without having to show off, and he’s passionate without having to talk the hind legs off a cow. Here are some snippets of our interview:
Barry, where were you born?
And where are you living right now?
Queen Anne Hill, Seattle
Whatâ€™s the furthest youâ€™ve been from home?
Do you have any major hobbies?
Fly fishing, wood working, skiing, cycling.
Whatâ€™s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off?
I don’t set an alarm. Such are the pleasures of opening at noon.
How do you take your coffee?
Double short Americano with cream.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Summer or Winter?
What led you to becoming a butcher?
I was a chef for many years and the opportunity to try something different presented itself.
Whatâ€™s the best thing about being a butcher?
Assisting our clientele in creating memorable meals for friends and family.
Which cut of meat should people know more about?
All of them!
Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
Yes, but it was brief.
How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
Education and facilitation. We create a pipeline for local farmers and an outlet for concerned consumers.
What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
A good idea.
Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
We all do our best to shine in our respective neighborhoods. I must admit, my Marquee has drawn more attention for its witty content [see picture above].
Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
We all win with the drive to give charitably.
Do you have any good party tricks?
And finally, 3 words to describe natural grass fed beef:
occupy the pasture.
The Eat Local, Give Global campaign is all about raising money to empower and educate women farmers in Sudan with sustainable farming techniques. Weâ€™re running the campaign in partnership withÂ Bill the Butcher and itsÂ six shops in and around Seattle.Â Donate online, or go directly to your local shop, meet the friendly butchers themselves, and donate there.
Remember: each store is in competition with the others to raise the most money. This is called the Great Meat Race. If you want the Magnolia shop to win,Â donate to the campaign here and join its community.