Meat the Butcher: Kevin Sarbora @ the Woodinville Shop


Part 3 of our Bill the Butcher interview series

First-time butcher, Kevin Sarbora, loves the outdoors and digging his heels into the snow. When he’s not surfing the ice waves or dirt-romping in his 4-wheeler, Kevin pours his passions into being the head butcher at the Woodinville Bill the Butcher shop. It wasn’t always this way. Originally from Kansas City, “Cow town” as he so eloquently puts it, Kevin noticed a new business opening near his home. Previous culinary experience coupled with curiosity and a new career has blossomed into a love for providing sustainable meat to the public. Nestled between a small cafe and a marketplace, this Woodinville shop isn’t short on ideas for dinner, customer love, or passion toward supporting the ethics of meat business. “Meat-ing” Kevin for a short interview over the phone was a pleasure and a great laugh. Get to know Mr. Sarbora below:

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
The more people we pair up with is only gonna expand out and improve our visibility of the cause. There are no downsides to partnering with local companies, and it’s bringing this to the forefront. A lot of our customer base have a philanthropic side, which increases Jolkona’s visibility, connects people with similar interests and is good for the world as a whole. It’s a good thing to get out there, to talk about our cause and spread the vision of a natural world that is not run by big conglomerates.

What led you to becoming a butcher?
After high school I was in restaurant management and cooking. I lived a block from this Bill the Butcher shop, and it just was opening up. I wanted to further my culinary career and knocked on the door…“give me a job!” 2 weeks after opening. I was the first employee, washing dishes and then started cutting meat.
It’s my first experience. It’s my calling.

What’s the best thing about being a butcher?
The fact that people are opening their eyes to where the meat comes from. It’s changing the food landscape and how food is processed and eaten in the USA. We’ve seen what meat purveyors are doing, and after Bill the Bucther opened up they started providing naturally raised beef to respond to this new movement. Buying more of the kind of meats we sell – we love that and it’s not a bad thing. It’s the best thing; people are more familiar with animals and where the meat comes from.

If you were a cut of meat, what would you be?
Brisket, because when you first look at the brisket it’s not appetizing, but getting to know it, and when you cook with it, you fall in love with it.

If I gave you a herd of cattle, where would you hide it?
I would hide it on a plane to Colorado. I love Colorado. It’s big; it’s open. There’s family and a ranch out there.

Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
I could hurt somebody here (laughs), we’re all gonna win. We don’t have any losers in this company.

Do you have any major hobbies?
I snowboard, go camping, go 4-wheeling. What else does Kevin do that’s fun? I play outside, and brew beer.

Bill the Butcher is…?
The future of meat.

“The Eat Local, Give Global campaign provides women farmers in Sudan with sustainable farming education, and we are supporting them by considering where our food comes from. We’re running the campaign and pairing with Bill the Butcher’s six shops around Seattle. You can access the donation page online or travel to the shop, shake hands with the butchers and contribute while picking your favorite cuts of meat.
Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

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 Woodinville shop to win, donate to the campaign here and join its community.

Bill the Butcher


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