Part 1 of our Bill the Butcher interview series
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Jon now lives in Columbia City here in Seattle. After being laid off from a cushy desk job, Jon turned his back on the sedentary life style altogether and decided to take up something entirely different: butchery. Now you can find him in the Bill the Butcher shop in Madison (next door to a vegetarian restaurant of all places!), where heâ€™s busy serving his customers top quality, sustainable, affordable meat. Ask him what the best thing about being a butcher is, and heâ€™ll tell you straight and simple: the meat. And in a shop like Bill the Butcher, that makes a lot of sense. Jon is a deft wielder of butchering utensils, he has a sharp (!) sense of humor, would take winter over summer, and likes his coffee black. Hereâ€™s a short excerpt of our interview:
What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
I think itâ€™s great. It would be valuable to do it in this country, too, to educate farmers and consumers about sustainable farming. Of course there is great need in parts of the world like Sudan. So yeah, itâ€™s certainly a worthwhile cause.
How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
Well, itâ€™s pretty important. Weâ€™re the the middlemen between the farmers and theÂ consumers. Obviously without us, farmers would have a harder time getting their product out there, and the same goes for the consumers being able to buy it. So weâ€™re a good outlet, I suppose. Itâ€™s all a part of the sustainable farming cycle.
How does it work out being next door to a vegetarian restaurant?
It actually works out pretty well. They get busy on the weekend and we have a lot of people from over there waiting for their tables that come around here and take a look. And a lot of the times they actually come back and order something.
Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
Because I work here!
Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
Can there be a five-way tie for last? â€“ because thatâ€™s what itâ€™s going to be.
If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
Brisket â€“ itâ€™s tough and fatty.
Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
No. No. How dare you?
If you were a cow, which kind would you be?
Hopefully the kind that doesnâ€™t get eaten.
Do you have any good party tricks?
None that I can show you.
And 3 words to describe natural grass fed beef:
Delicious. Healthy. Andâ€¦. can I use delicious again?!
The Eat Local, Give Global campaign is all about raising money to help implement sustainable farming techniques for women farmers in Sudan through supporting sustainable farming here in the U.S. Weâ€™re running the campaign in partnership withÂ Bill the Butcher and its six shops in and around Seattle. 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 Madison shop to win,Â donate to the campaign here and join its community.