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Message from Nadia Mahmud, Jolkona CEO, to Give to Girls 2014 donors:

Thank you so much for joining us to Give to Girls! Your contributions helped us raise more than $2,600 in March for Jolkona partners supporting maternal health, education and empowerment for women and girls locally and globally.Nadia

With your donations ranging from $10 to $1,000, our collective giving is enough to fund English and computer classes for eight girls in Nepal (Bo M. Karlsson Foundation), agriculture training and supplies for six women farmers in Sudan (MADRE), school supplies for five girls in Liberia (More Than Me Foundation), job skills classes for two homeless women in Seattle (Jubilee Women’s Center), and more.

Our partner organizations will be sending out impact reports for every donation in the coming months. You can also continue supporting these kinds of projects by making a meaningful contribution to Jolkona’s Women & Girls partners throughout the year.

If your company has a matching donation program, you have an opportunity to double your impact. Let us know if we can assist you in submitting the information to your employer this month.

Thank you for investing in the women of tomorrow by giving to girls today!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Jolkona’s Give to Girls campaign revolves around the idea that the world’s women — over half the global population — are a significant untapped resource. Women represent 70 percent of the world’s poor, disproportionately suffering in times of crisis: natural disasters, economic downturns, wars. On the other hand, as more women gain equality in the workforce, the faster a country’s economy will recover and grow.

This doesn’t only apply to the developing world; America’s GDP would jump by 9 percent if we had equal pay. Empowering women, along with giving them access to better healthcare and education, is the key to local and global development.

You can help three Jolkona partners empower women:

Give Life and Tech Skills to Homeless Women in the U.S.

Many homeless women in the U.S. can’t get back on their feet because they lack the skills needed to find jobs in today’s economy. Jolkona’s partner the Jubilee Women’s Center, works to help Seattle women transition out of extreme poverty, with a comprehensive life and tech skills program including classes in Microsoft Office, interview and job retention practices.

Support Rape Survivors in Haiti Displacement Camp

Four years after Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake, more than 100,000 people are still living in tent camps — unstable conditions that have made women even more vulnerable to sexual violence. Jolkona’s partner MADRE provides peer-counseling groups to help rape survivors empower each other and heal together, and works with local organizations to build effective community anti-violence strategies.

Support Women Farmers in Sudan

Women in Sudan grow 80 percent of the food crops, yet are excluded from government farm aid programs. The country’s farmers also struggle to survive the ongoing war, environmental degradation from unsustainable practices, and droughts and floods from climate change. Jolkona’s partner MADRE provides women farmers with tools, seeds, and ongoing training — enabling them to feed their families and achieve financial independence.

With the right set of tools, any woman can become empowered, and empowered women are one of the greatest potential forces for global change. Give to Girls today!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

There’s a nothing like a bit of jargon-busting from time to time, especially when it concerns a word that is heavily used. A word like empowerment, for example – we talk about it a lot at Jolkona. But why? What is it about empowerment that is so fundamental to our vision as a non-profit? The answer to that question lies in the relationship between power and justice: one of the core functions of justice is granting power to those who need it. Take any situation of injustice, chronic or temporary, and at its root will be an imbalance or abuse of power.

In America there is an imbalance of power in the meat industry. Small scale farmers are marginalized due to agricultural pressures to yield high quantity (not quality) at minimum costs. In the world there is an imbalance in the allocation of wealth, and one of the many countries that suffer interminably because of this is Sudan. Here farmers lack sufficient resources and access to agricultural education. Imbalances of power in the farming industry are local and global. So that’s why we started the Eat Local, Give Global campaign.

What was it about?

The goal was two-fold: to raise awareness of America’s overlooked local farming industry, whilst raising funds to provide tools and agricultural education for women farmers in Sudan. To do this we partnered with the brilliant and munificent Bill the Butcher, a Seattle-based chain of neighborhood butcher shops that supports sustainable farming practices by selling grass fed, natural meats from local farmers and ranchers. The funds were raised in three ways:

1) You could donate online through Jolkona via the campaign page

2) Customers could donate in any one of the six shops around Seattle

3) Bill the Butcher generously donated 10% of its sales on Thursdays and Fridays to the campaign

To throw in a bit of competition, we devised the Great Meat Race. This was a competition to see which of the six shops could raise the most of amount of money via customer and online donations.

What was the impact?

Some – but not all – of the results are in. We do not yet know the winner of the Great Meat Race, neither do we know the final amount raised including the 10% donation from Bill the Butcher’s Thursdays and Fridays sales. However, we do have the results from the donations made online and in the shops by you the donors. Remember: $30 covers the cost for one Sudanese woman to attend 2 days of farming classes, providing her with essential knowledge and tools which she can share with her entire village.

Through donations made online and in the shops, over $1170 was raised, providing training for 39 women.

Returning, then, to complete my jargon-busting: the crux of empowerment is not exercising power on someone’s behalf; rather, it is the placing of power into their own hands. And in this campaign the power was education and tools, both of which the women farmers in Sudan can utilize to change their own lives, that of their families, and that of their entire community. This is empowerment. Sincerest thanks to all who donated.

Stay tuned to find out which shop wins the Great Meat Race, and also for the final total raised and impact made….

And don’t forget: you are what you meat.

 

 

 

 

“OK Gabriel,” I say to myself, “Don’t make a fool of yourself now. Just take it easy, alright?” I’m waiting to interview Bill the Butcher CEO, J’Amy Owens. For some reason – or perhaps good reason – I’m as nervous as hell. She is, after all, one of the most successful business women in the whole of America. We’re sitting in the apartment below hers on Queen Anne Hill, waiting to go up. Things are running a little behind schedule; she’s taking a conference call. Of course she is -  she’s a CEO. We pass the time talking meat and quality cows, but really I’m worried about how much of a bumbling buffoon I’ll end up being.

It’s time.

“OK, mate, just pretend she’s any other person.”

We enter a gorgeous apartment and I shuffle through to the living room like a nervous school kid. Down the stairs comes J’Amy. She greets us with great charm and aplomb. I think I hold it together for about 12 seconds, and then the Brit in me escapes: I’m thanking her effusively for her kindness, for taking the time to see us, for anything I can think of. If I could apologize for something, I probably would. She offers us a glass of water. Foolishly I decline (my throat will be as parched as the Moroccan desert by the time we’re finished).  Again, that’s the Brit in me; I’m quite certain it would be rude to accept, or that it would cause her far too much trouble.

We sit down to begin. All the other interviews I previously did for this series lasted a few minutes, tops. This lasts twenty five. As an interviewee, J’Amy is incredibly engaged – and engaging. I quickly realize she is in no way just trying to get this over with. Indeed, her answers are full, expansive, and remarkably illuminating. I admit it, I’m quite spellbound. OK so she’s been in marketing and retail all her life, but it’s more than just a way with words; it’s a conviction. I learn this early on when she talks of her childhood on her family’s farm in North Dakota. She grew up surrounded by livestock. We start off with a few light-hearted get-to-know-you questions, but, as you’ll see, by the time we get to hobbies, things get serious. And this is a serious matter. It’s the future of our food system.

J’Amy what’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off in the morning?
Ugh, I curse. I tend to stay up very late. I like to work long into the night. The alarm goes off usually because New York starts to call. They can’t help themselves.

And how do you take your coffee?
Always made in a French Press, Starbucks extra bold French Roast. I make it black as tar. I put a little organic half and half in, and then I fundamentally try and get my whole body into the cup!

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Black because I like to make one mark and I like it to be indelible; I like everyone to see it. And I like it to make the difference, and I like it to be the outline.

Summer or Winter?
Depends on where I am. If there’s only one season to choose, though, it has to be summer because I’m the original Barefoot Contessa.

Do you have any major hobbies?
I’m obsessed with figuring out how to take the pain I can see in life and create antidotes for it in business. And it’s my driving passion and need. Right now, I see a real pain in the small farmers and ranchers that have been excluded from working in big agribusiness, and I’ve watched them make less and less money each year. I’ve watched it my whole life, and it’s wrong. We need those farmers; we need them as stewards to the land. Without them doing that and raising animals for us locally, we’re toast as humans.

What’s your personal story in becoming involved with Bill the Butcher?
I’ve worked retail for about 30 years. I’ve developed 400 retail businesses in America, they’re in about 20,000 locations now. I was in the coffee business for a very long time. And when I heard the term “grass fed beef” in 2006, I knew in my knower that it was going to be like coffee – that meat would have a renaissance and revolution which would make it grow up and be as complex and as compelling as coffee. Because remember, in 1989 coffee was Fulgers in a can in a grocery store. And now it’s an $80 billion industry. So having had that as being a big part of my own journey, I knew when I heard this term that it was going to happen for me. And I thought, “I bet I could influence that.” So in 2006 I wrote the business plan for Bill the Butcher, and have endeavored to make it go ever since.

How does this compare to your previous work experience?
It’s quite similar in that both coffee and meat are commodities – they’re consumables; people use them every day. People buy them every day. People buy different qualities and quantities every day. And what we’re doing with meat is a lot like what happened to coffee. There was a new language of coffee introduced to consumers. What’s a latte? What’s a cappuccino? What type of bean is it? Where do they come from? How are they roasted? It turns out the same is true for meat: do you want a Shorthorn Brahman raised in open range in Nevada that was finished on clover or legumes? That is a different kind of flavor profile than a Belted Galloway that comes from the Prairie grasslands in central Illinois. And once you experience them side by each, and you can tell the difference, you will have a preference. And that preference will drive your behavior. But us American consumers have been Angus-ed to death by the grocery store. And we’re made to think that all meat is equal, or that it’s Prime, Choice, or Select, which really means nothing.

Could you tell us about how Bill the Butcher has simultaneously built “the world’s shortest supply chain” and a created new market place for meat?
We go the shortest distance to get enough meat to sell. So if we can get it from Washington, we do. If we have to get it from Montana, Idaho, OK. But why put a cow on a box cart and send it from Whatcom County to a feed lot and then have it slaughtered somewhere else, to then have it come back on a truck in a box? It adds layers of cost and carbon footprint. So our idea is creating the world’s shortest supply chain by knitting together small farms and ranchers that really cannot sell to grocery stores, because they’re too small. The big conglomerates don’t give them the time of day. Our market place, then, is above the farmer’s market and below the grocery stores. So we’ve created a new supply and we’ve created a new market at the same time. And I think that’s what people will talk about when they write about this business. Yes, we brought back the neighborhood butcher shop, and isn’t that groovy and cool. But behind that, the thing that really makes it work, is the distribution and the idea of how to coalesce a new supply chain.

What are your thoughts on Jolkona’s Eat Local, Give Global campaign and its partnership with the Bill the Butcher stores?
Well I’m horrified, as I’m sure we all are, by what I watch and read on the news. There is an inequality in how food is distributed around the planet, as well as an inequality in where food is grown. And you’re addressing that in places where there is perhaps the most need, and I truly have such respect for you. We’re doing this on a local scale; you’re doing it on a global scale. In many ways, though, our philosophies are a dead match.

Local food, sustainable farming, grass fed beef: these have been dubbed as “megatrends.” Are these indeed just megatrends, or is there more to it than that this, is there more meat on the bone, as it were?
Well I’ll say this: it’s much better to be a trend than a fad. The truth is that when 46 million people are doing it at once, it’s a megatrend. You see the organic food market has grown 100% in volume year after year for the past 20 years. And it is the only food sector in the business that is growing. The rest of them are flat. So that’s a big indication that more people are leaning in this direction. And listen, the barometer is Walmart: when Walmart was forced to put in an organic food section, that said to me, “OK, we’re really at the tipping point here.” Because they serve a customer base that is considered low income, but the demand for organic milk was unprecedented; they couldn’t stem the tide. Of course, our desire is for these trends to become normality, but all things that become “standard” start out as the “irreverent upstart.”

OK, so if you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
Depends from which animal! I think I would be the hanging tender on a cow. It is a very rare piece of meat and it connects all the other important pieces of meat on the animal.

If I gave you a herd of cattle, where would you hide it?
I’d hide it in plain sight on our family’s farm in North Dakota.

3 words to describe natural grass fed beef:
Vital. Delicious. Required.

The Eat Local, Give Global campaign is all about raising money to empower and educate women farmers in Sudan with sustainable farming techniques. We’re running the campaign in partnership with 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.

Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

 

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, that’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’s 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?
Encino, California

And where are you living right now?
Queen Anne Hill, Seattle

What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?
Cancun, Mexico.

Do you have any major hobbies?
Fly fishing, wood working, skiing, cycling.

What’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?
Oxblood red.

Summer or Winter?
Fall.

What led you to becoming a butcher?
I was a chef for many years and the opportunity to try something different presented itself.

What’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?
Zero.

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. We’re running the campaign in partnership with 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.

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

 

 

Earlier in the series, we featured Tim McMullen: Bill the Butcher’s Director of Operations. When we met with him at the commissary, Michael LaRoche sat to his left. Being Director of Purchasing, he is a hard-working man with an easygoing vibe. You pick up on it after talking with him for awhile. He takes his coffee black and unlimited, dabbles in music playing, sketching, reading literature, and cooks – of course he would! He is originally from Boston, and has adventured across the earth’s oceans to Amsterdam. Michael gave us plenty to laugh about during his interview. Check out what he has to say on life, giving, sustainability, and meat:

What are your thoughts on Jolkona’s Eat Local, Give Global campaign and its partnership with the Bill the Butcher shops?
It’s a very worthwhile endeavor. It’s getting people to be part of a growing community that wants to close in their food sources, to get to know it better, and to expand that to people in such challenged regions as Sudan. It gives them help in getting their food chain up and growing. The way we have it set up here, you see, is that big chains come in and control your food supply when it could be done locally.

Jolkona is a nonprofit which is centered around simplicity and visibility. How do you think Bill the Butcher fits in with such principles?
We’re certainly trying to be very visible. Simple – well, we are actually quite a complex system, while our idea is simple.

Local food, sustainable farming, grass fed beef: these have been dubbed as “megatrends.” Are these indeed just megatrends, or is there more to it than that this, is there more meat on the bone, as it were?
Corn-fed beef was the megatrend for the last 40 years. Before that it was grass-fed beef – as it was for 400 years. Or are we just back to what it used to be?

I read that Bill the Butcher shops are the “new marketplace” between farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Could you explain more about this?
Farmers used to have two options: sell their meat to the big conglomerates at a vast loss, or go sell that meat at the farmer’s markets. The first offers very little profit; the second is very time consuming. So we buy directly from the farmers at a fair price and sell it straight out of our shop.

With Bill the Butcher you’ve built “the world’s shortest supply chain.” Could explain more about this for our readers?
So for instance, take the Nelson family, I talk to Mr Nelson, and I say we need x amount of cattle and they have they x amount ready, that’s slaughtered on their farm by a mobile processor, and then we take the whole animal and sell it to you. Minimal middlemen. So now it doesn’t have to travel half way up the country to be slaughtered in one place, and then shipped – goodness knows where – to be sold  in another place.

Bill the Butcher has a very broad consumer appeal, why do you think this is?
People are starting to realize they have no idea where their food comes from. Eating is what you do three or four times a day. People want to start learning where it comes from and not that it just came from the frozen food section in the supermarket.

Which cut of meat do you think people should know more about?
Beef cheeks.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
A round because I’m kind of an ass.

Empower women farmers in Sudan with farming education and sustainability efforts. Join our Eat Local, Give Global campaign! Bill the Butcher and Jolkona are the dream team making headway on this exciting project. Access the donation page online or stop at any of the shops to learn more and hold your own “interview” with the butchers!
Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

The shop door opens with the tinkle of a bell. The black and white checkered flooring welcomes me nostalgically. The scent is unmistakable, yet I can’t remember the last time I smelt it. Out from behind the counter, dressed in black with his apron suitably dirty, emerges the equally charming and industrious Daniel. We’re in the Bill the Butcher shop in Laurelhurst. The winter sun streams through the windows. I feel like I’ve stepped back half a century. It’s perhaps somewhat embarrassing to say, as I’m about to interview a butcher, that I can’t remember the last time I went into a butcher’s shop. But maybe that’s partly the point, part of Bill the Butcher’s mission. Indeed, it’s appropriate that I feel like I’ve stepped back in time because Bill the Butcher is precisely trying to revert things to how they were: local meat, minimal middlemen, on your plate. No fuss. It’s not about being old-school, but it is about education. Daniel kindly agrees to sit down with me and talk about this (and other things) for a short while.

Daniel, where were you born?
San Diego, California

And where are you living right now?
Seattle, Washington

What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?
New York City

What’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off?
Wake up

How do you take your coffee?
2 raw sugars and cream

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Fuchsia

Summer or Winter?
Winter

What lead you to becoming a butcher?
Curiosity

What’s the best thing about being a butcher?
The discounted meat!

Which cut of meat should people know more about?
Flap meat – it’s delicious!

Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
Yeah I tried it.

How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
I cut the meat and sell it….and I’m very good at it!

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
It’s a good cause, helping people who really need it. We should do it all year long!

Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
This is the only shop I work at.

Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
According to a recent e-mail, Redmond and Bellevue are in a dead heat.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
Filet – it’s tender and super classy.

If you were a cow, which kind would you be?
Texas Longhorn

If you were a cow, would other cows want to be your friends?
Sure

Do you have any good party tricks?
(He goes to do something. A kid and his mother walk in) Err… perhaps not.

And finally, 3 words to describe natural, grass fed beef:
Very, very delicious.

Empower women farmers in Sudan with farming education, and sustainability efforts. Join our Eat Local, Give Global campaign. Bill the Butcher and Jolkona are the dream team making headway on this exciting project. Access the donation page online or stop at any of the shops to learn more and meet the butchers themselves in flesh and blood.

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


 

 

Part 4 of our Bill the Butcher interview series

Within the outskirts of downtown Seattle stands a modestly sized building. Just looking from the outside, you would never guess that one of Seattle’s most important local businesses operates there. We ventured into SoDo to shake hands with the brains behind the cattle, Tim McMullen. He appears as a soft-spoken, introspective man from Colombus, Ohio and loves reaching new heights when he rock climbs, or kayaks. Like many of us, he would prefer to hit “snooze” before pouring his coffee plain and black in the morning. He spends his time at Bill the Butcher juggling all types of victories, obstacles, and creative new ventures, while keeping the well-oiled machine turning. Here’s a glimpse into Tim’s psyche:

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?

I think it’s an awesome partnership. It’s giving back to communities, education… helping a country that’s had such a terrible time in the past couple years, and helping them build a sustainable economy. It’s our motto.

I think eating local started as a trend. As the consumer learns about what they’re eating, how much healthier it is for them, and how much better it tastes the trend will become a norm. They will continue to buy what they like and what’s good for them.

What lead you to becoming a butcher?

I had a business back home; produce company, and a whole sale farm-direct produce in Charlotte, NC. I approached Bill the Butcher about joining them, and I was amazed with what they had done and their mission. The skillset was perfect for coming out here to Seattle. I was a big advocate of getting money to the farms and I would buy directly from the farmer and sell straight to the consumer, which gave the farmers more money.
We try to educate our consumers on what we’re about– educating people on eating the entire animal instead of what’s popular.

What’s the best thing about being a butcher?

Previously, consumers could only get our products at farmers markets. Most grocery outlets do not offer the quality of products that we have. So I guess the best part is being the Middle man in that aspect.

You’re quoted as being “the world’s shortest supply chain.” Could you explain more about this for our readers?

We buy directly from the farmer, and send directly to our shop for retail sale. We advertise for those farms, letting the consumer know where it comes from.

3 words to describe natural grass fed beef?

Healthy, delicious, appealing.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Red. I always run hot.

If I gave you a herd of cattle, where would you hide it?

I have no place to hide a herd of cattle. Maybe the parking garage in my building.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?

Sirloin tip.

Empower women farmers in Sudan with farming education, and sustainability efforts. Join our Eat Local, Give Global campaign! Bill the Butcher and Jolkona are the dream team making headway on this exciting project. Access the donation page online or stop at any of the shops to learn more and hold your own “interview” with the butchers!
Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

 

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

Feasting, in the truest sense of its definition, is one of life’s great pleasures – and privileges. Rightly so, we reserve such meals for special occasions. The holiday season is one such occasion; Thanksgiving is tomorrow. At Jolkona we’re running the Eat Local, Give Global campaign with Bill the Butcher to raise funds in order to facilitate sustainable farming for women in Sudan. Central to the equation of sustainability is the relation of produce to consumption. Needless to say, wastage in either of those areas is detrimental to the balance and cycle of sustainability. The infographic below illustrates the morbid statistics of food wastage here in America and Europe compared to other parts of the world. Quite frankly, it’s shocking. During this holiday season, then, eat well, delight in your feasting, by all means; but please, shop and prepare responsibly. Avoid as much food wastage as you can.

Click on this link to view the infograhic full size: foodwasteinfographic

To learn more about our Bill the Bucther campaign and how you can help women farmers in Sudan develop sustainable farming techniques which will benefit their families and their communities, go the campaign page here.

 

 

Part 2 of our Bill the Butcher interview series

Josh is a Washingtonian, born and bred. Currently residing in the state’s jewel, the Emerald City (Seattle), he is the head butcher over in the Redmond shop. Alarmingly honest and witty, Josh is both a wizard with meat and words. His major hobby is sausage making, he claims he’s never been too far from home (because his wife keeps him on a short leash), he takes his coffee with whiskey, and, much to his chagrin, believes beef liver is a vastly undervalued piece of meat. In his own words, it was the combination of a lack of college education and a genuine love for the craft of butchery that lead him to this current position. Here’s a snippet of our interview:

What’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off?
Wake up.

Summer or Winter?
More of a Fall or Spring kinda guy.

What’s the best thing about being a butcher?
Can’t pick just one.

How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
An important link in the chain.

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
Great cause. Education is crucial to understanding.

Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
I think each shop has its own personality and style, all of which are equally attractive and charming.

Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
I hope we all come in first.

Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
Not yet.

If you were a cow, would other cows want to be your friends?
Yes, unless they were lactose intolerant.

If I gave you a herd of cattle, where would you hide it?
It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you where I was hiding it.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
The brain.

And finally, what’s your best meat your joke?
What do you call a cow with two legs?    Lean beef.

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. We’re running the campaign in partnership with 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.

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

 

 

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 he’s busy serving his customers top quality, sustainable, affordable meat. Ask him what the best thing about being a butcher is, and he’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. Here’s a short excerpt of our interview:

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
I think it’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, it’s certainly a worthwhile cause.

How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
Well, it’s pretty important. We’re the the middlemen between the farmers and the 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 we’re a good outlet, I suppose. It’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? – because that’s what it’s going to be.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
Brisket – it’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 doesn’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. And…. 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. We’re running the campaign in partnership with 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.

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

 

 

Bill the Butcher Laurelhurst shop

We’re thrilled to announce Eat Local, Give Global, our first campaign with Bill the Butcher, a Seattle-based chain of neighborhood butcher shops that sell grass fed, and natural meats. The company works directly with local ranchers and farmers, who follow sustainable and organic practices, to deliver the highest quality meat that is healthiest for consumers while being good for the environment.

Bill the Butcher believes in supporting sustainable farming practices and working with local farmers and ranchers who raise beef, pork and poultry without hormones, steroids and genetically modified feed.

To celebrate this commitment to supporting local, sustainable, farmers and food, they are launching a campaign to bring this belief to another part of the world. Starting today, Bill the Butcher is launching Eat Local, Give Global, a fundraising campaign on Jolkona to support women farmers in Sudan.

The Great Meat Race

Bill the Butcher is raising money for this campaign in a number of ways:

  1. Bill the Butcher will be donating 10% of sales from every shop on Thursday and Friday from this week through the end of 2011.
  2. Customers can also donate (learn how below).

And what’s a giving campaign without a little competition?

All six Bill the Butcher locations will be competing to raise the most money for this campaign and to get the most number of donors. So get giving!

How to contribute to the campaign

Help your local butcher shop win The Great Meat Race by donating to the campaign:

  1. Donate at the shop — Customers can add $1, $5, or $10 to any purchase they make in any of the Bill the Butcher shops.
  2. Donate online — If you can’t make it to your local Bill the Butcher shop, you can support this campaign by donating directly to the campaign itself.

After you make your donation online, you’ll see 6 icons for each Bill the Butcher location. While still logged into your Jolkona account, choose your location and join that shop’s giving community. Once you join the shop, this is how we’ll help track which shop is leading in the Great Meat Race! Easy!

Let the Great Meat Race begin!

We’re very excited to partner with Bill the Butcher on our first campaign with a retail-based corporate partner. Last week we traveled to all of the stores to interview the head butchers for our “Meat the Butcher” blog series that’s starting this week. It was wonderful to meet their team, see their shops, and learn how Bill the Butcher is dedicated to supporting the growth and economic vitality of small local farmers and ranchers by changing how we get our meat from the farm to our dinner tables.

Not to mention their meat is delicious and can’t be beat!

You can support the Eat Local, Give Global campaign, follow our progress, and our total impact on the campaign page as well as on Facebook (by Liking Jolkona and Bill the Butcher) and on Twitter (@Jolkona, @theonlymeat, #BtBEatLocal).

Let’s give!

 This guest post was written by Yifat, on behalf of Madre, a Jolkona Foundation partner.

Fatima Ahmed, the president of the Sudanese women’s organization Zenab for Women in Development, recently stopped by the MADRE office with exciting news.  The ground-breaking women farmers union led by her organization had harvested a successful crop-and the results are changing people’s lives.
Founded by Zenab in 2006 and supported by MADRE, this project has brought together women who make up the majority of farmers working on small-scale organic farms in Sudan.  Amplifying their voices, they have been able to demand access to seeds, better tools, and assistance in farming.

Women have been able to share knowledge on how to better prepare their land for cultivation and how to manage weeds that destroy the crops. Fatima was excited to share that these women have not only been successful in providing food for their own families but have also been able to provide crops for other regions in Sudan.

Fatima shared with us a story about one village where the women had been denied access to education. With her help and with the resources generated by their successful farming projects, they organized a much-needed adult education program. The women built a center where they could host their school and opened the space for community meetings.

Their improved farming has increased production and has enabled them to generate an income, in some areas even allowing them the chance to bring in electricity.  In yet another village, three women farmers were able to raise enough funds to send their daughters to university, a victory that would have been otherwise impossible.

Together, women farmers are creating new possibilities for themselves, their families and their communities.

GET INVOLVED!