Why You Should Have a Butcher with Melanie and Jason of Babe's Meat & Counter

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Gretchen Schmidt

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In this episode...

Melanie and Jason Schoendorfer of Babe's Meat and Counter join the show today to chat about the importance of going to a butcher for your meats rather than buying at supermarkets, how they develop their crave-worthy menu items, why they choose to source locally, and why we should all move to Canada.

Melanie and Jason Schoendorfer

Cofounders of Babe's Meat and Counter


Gretchen Schmidt

Editor and Chief of Edible South Florida


If you like what you hear, please show your support for the podcast by visiting https://anchor.fm/maria-tripodis/support so I can keep Seasonal alive. Any contribution is greatly appreciated!

MT  0:00  
Hello beautiful people. Welcome to seasonal season one, Episode 10. The final episode of season one, which I'm calling the season of this summer, but don't worry, we will be starting back up again in the fall, coinciding with Miami's growing season. So that means that the tropical fruit talk will sadly be coming to an end. So I hope you guys all learned a little thing or two about mango passion fruit caminito mumei. So Po de, which is one of my favorites, papaya, SAP Bo D jackfruit, lychee, soursop, mamoun sios rambutans. Long, GaNS can isto and others that I am certainly forgetting. But I loved learning about these this season. And I hope you guys did too. But don't worry, we're going to be having some very exciting conversations about the actual growing season in Miami where we have so many vegetables, leafy greens, and exciting things growing here that are unable to grow in the summer months, because it's just way too hot for them. And they can't survive in this heat and this humidity. So get excited for that. Hopefully at that time to the farmers markets will be open. So I could actually chat with some of the vendors over there about what we should be expecting in Fall season. So fermentation of date, get excited. I have kombucha that's still brewing right now. But I have a bread update. So I've been really stepping up my bread game, as you guys know, now that I kind of have a better grasp of the proofing times and temperatures, and I've been getting more consistent results with my proofs. And with the height of the bread, I've been able to experiment a little and add seeds to the crust. So they look really beautiful. And it just adds another dimension of flavor to the bread. I have been using pepitas or pumpkin seeds, some sesame seeds. And then one of them I used an everything bagel crust, which was insanely good. I put some cream cheese on it, it was amazing. So yeah, it's cool. I want to also start experimenting with different flavors of bread. So maybe doing like blueberry bread and there or bacon or cheese or whatever I want to kind of start, now that I kind of have a handle on the proofing, I could kind of start getting a little bit more creative. So before I get into our guest for today, I want to mention, if you are a fan of this podcast, there are so many ways to show your love and support. So one of them that I mentioned before, is to go to anchor you can either go to the website or the app. That's a n c h o r, and search seasonal and click support. You also can go to wherever you listen to this podcast and hit subscribe. And lastly, I would love to hear your feedback. So wherever you get this podcast, you can find a link to send in a voice message or a question. I would love to hear those and who knows maybe I'll play it in my next episode. Now our guest for today. So today we will be chatting with Melanie and Jason of babes me encounter and Palmetto Bay. So babes if you guys haven't heard of it, it has kind of become a local staple around here. They started off in the pine grass gardens farmers market that I mentioned a lot. But they are just great examples of real advocates for the local food movement. And I know I've been talking mostly about produce throughout the season. But this is kind of a new perspective on meat kind of animal products, which is really interesting. They also source their produce for their menus from farms in the area. And they're really big supporters of other local artisans in the area that are creating some amazing products. So I'm really excited to chat with them. I hope you guys are too. So without further ado Let's get to chatting with Melanie and Jason.

MT  0:00  
All right, so today with me, I have Melanie and Jason of Babes Meat and Counter. Thank you so much, you guys for joining me today.

MS  0:09  
Thank you for having us, Maria.

MT  0:10  
Of course. My pleasure. All right, so can you guys start by telling us a bit about how you all started the beloved babes because it's a it's a favorite. It's a local favorite. And I would just, I'm just really curious about a little bit of the background.

MS  0:29  
Sure things so it all started out of a hobby out of just a necessity to find good sausages in this town, so I'm originally from Canada, grew up. You know, my grandparents used to make their own sausage or their own putos. It was around all the time. So when I came to Miami and I met Jason, I asked him where he bought his office. He's like Publix. I'm like, well, who's like, well, I don't have butchers like that. Like, all right, so we just started making our own just for purely selfish reasons, just to have something that I was used to eating and it, it grew. It started as a hobby and our love of food. And it pretty much just got us to where we are now kind of just kept growing and Joanna's to join us. Right and then so I started making sausages and then started selling them. At my old employer Joanna's Mark Quigley's. Yeah. And in South Miami, in South Miami, so they are also you know, a family business has been around for over 25 years. And they really, you know, they'd let me use their kitchen, they let me make sausages there and let me sell it. Like really, were encouraging and supportive. And the sausages were doing well, there it was, you know, selling a lot and for serving at lunchtime for special barbecues. And then someone suggested, you know, why don't you try farmers market? So like, Okay, I guess, you know, we'll we'll try the market. See how that goes. And that was it. It just started and it never stopped.

MT  2:05  
That's, yeah, I. So I used to go to the Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market every week. And there was always a super, super long line in front of your, your tent. And my boyfriend and I were like, what is that there's always a really long line, what's going on? And then we realized what it was, and it was these, just for everyone that doesn't know they they would sell these delicious, freshly made breakfast sandwiches at the farmers market. And so we're like, Okay, next week, we're gonna, we're gonna go, we're gonna wait in line. So then the next week we waited, but it was it happened to be pouring rain that day. But we're like, no, we're not leaving. So we ate the sandwiches, just like you're completely drenched. Or we're trying to huddle underneath your tank. It was completely pouring and we were just, like, determined to taste it. But it was. It was just so funny. Yeah, but then we would get our bacon from you guys. But um, but yeah, I just always remember that because I'm like, We're not leaving. We're eating here.

MS  3:15  
Thats hardcore. Yeah, well that life, you never know, right?

MT  3:20  
Yeah, I mean, sometimes it rains. Um, yeah. So that's, I love that and now you guys open up your little shop, which is super cute. And okay, so I kind of want to now get into this which I'm really interested in. Where do you guys source your meat from? And can you kind of go into a little bit your standards of quality Okay,

JS  3:45  
um, so we source a lot of our meats. We we try to focus on sourcing from farms that are you know, practicing humane practice humane animal standards, typically that include some antibiotic free not always necessarily certified organic because that's not not common and can be super costly in the meat world. But But places you know, that practice high standards as far as animal husbandry and you know, just typically once you start seeing farms that are working antibiotic free, they tend to have much higher practices and a lot of the commercial you know, industrial you know, meat that's raised in you know, in the United States. So, you know, for for our beef and our pork and chicken, you know, we we do prefer you know, you know, high quality heritage pork, you know, prime Angus and American wagyu breed beef, which is a higher end premium product. And then when we can we we do try to source locally, so, we do have a rancher inclusive in Florida that we do No more, you know, bring in whole hogs and, you know, other, you know, pigs for folks who want to do roasting, you know, capuccino boxes. And we're working on sourcing more local beef as well. Our focus was, you know, always try to be as local as possible. But still supporting folks who are doing it right. Even if even if you're not able to get it locally, still supporting folks, even if they aren't local that are, you know, doing things the right way support, you know, really supports that overall, the system overall So

MT  5:35  
Yeah, I know, it's kind of difficult to source me like Florida meat. But I always try to tell people, I mean, okay, I'm, I'm going to apologize to my listeners right now, because I, I say this every single episode, but I'm a dietician. And I'm always telling my clients and my patients, because ever they're always asked me about the quote, like the quality of me and what kind of meat they should be eating. And because of course, as you guys are aware, like the this day and age, everyone's like, and die read me and everything. And so I always tell people like, okay, read me, and all kinds of me are extremely good for you, they have essential nutrients, and then that you can't get anywhere else. And I always say like grass fed, make sure the chicken is pasture raised. So there's things to look out for. And the nutritional composition of grass fed beef is so different than conventionally raised beef that it can be practically considered to be a different food just because the fatty acid composition is completely different. And so it's it's really important to be a little more mindful of where you're sourcing your meat from. Because, yes, yes, conventionally raised red meat can be problematic, but not all red meat is created equally.

JS  6:59  
Yeah correct. No, I kind of think of it like, you are what you eat. So yes, absolutely. Yeah. So yeah, if you're, if you're, you know, filling your diet with with animals that were raised properly, that were fed a great diet, like you said, primarily grass fed for beef. I mean, we do, we don't always bring it, you know, we don't bring in a lot of like grass fed grass finished, which is like a distinction that's like important for a lot of folks.

MT  7:26  
But you know, you can you briefly kind of explained that what the difference

JS  7:30  
Oh, all beef is grass fed, I mean, all beef fat from for a large portion of its life is pastured. But where the, you know, the real industrial practices set in is, is the grain finishing and the amount, the length of time that they finished them on corn and different grains, okay, um, those those things were always supplemental. So to their diets, as far as you know, a lot of you know, there was, you know, obviously 100% grass fed grass finished, okay, that's, that's a cow, that's from start to finish, just okay. And it says just eat the straight grass and no other supplement, I believe they're allowed maybe alfalfa or certain, you know, like grasses, other grasses, you know, different types of grasses, I would say, but not like corn or any grain like that slide. Um, so we do bring in some of that, but primarily, we do work with a lot of beef that is finished, you know, some degree with, with corn. And a lot of that has to do with, I think, on the tastes of the United States as well, because the grass finish beef does tend to have a leaner hair. Yeah, does have a different flavor profile. Sure. Yeah. And then the corn, a lot of the corn fed, you know, the corn finished product. So, you know, Americans are used to so there's always that. So I think if, if it's done properly, and there's some grain introduced at the at the ends, you know, and and not to the detriment of the health of the cattle, because that's what becomes a problem is their guts not used to that guy. Yeah. And it starts getting them sick. So then they pump them with antibiotics to the balance that and it's that's where things get messy, I think. Um, but yeah, I mean, we do, you know, we do bring a lot of the stuff that is in green finished, I think it just has to do with a lot of tastes, but we have a lot of folks that do ask for, you know, grass finished, and, you know, that's something that we can source for them. And that that we do, you know, it's pretty regularly bringing as well, for sure.

MT  9:26  
Um, okay, so now I kind of want to get into, so Melanie, maybe you would be able to answer this because you were you were kind of referencing it before, but okay, I just kind of want to go into, from your all's perspective, the importance of going to a butcher for your meats, rather than buying from a supermarket. And that's kind of like you said, our culture here in the US and we're just what we do, but um, can you kind of go into like, what are the benefits that people should consider when buying their meats like quality wise, flavor wise and like the kind of environmental and economic benefits that buying meat from a butcher would offer? Sure,

MS  10:13  
of course, number one, I would say it's the one on one customer service. Mm hmm. When somebody comes in to buy a piece of meat, we ask a lot of questions. And often we don't pre cut anything. So the customer will come in, you know, ask for ribeye, we asked bone in bone out, do you want primer wagyu, we really try to determine what they want, what they're going to be using it for, we answer any question that they have, and then we'll cut to order. So we're really not pre cutting anything, and nothing is sitting out everything is as fresh as possible. And at the shop, we really don't bring a lot of product in at once. So we're constantly receiving from our distributors, fresh products, we're not sitting on anything, there's really aren't a lot of pieces in the freezer that we're pulling out. It's really like a one on one experience. And that's different. I mean, you can go to other grocery stores and everything is pre wrapped, pre cut pre portions, really don't know how long it's been sitting there. It's kind of you get what you get. Here, you know, again, we ask the questions we cut to order. And also because we're so small, and we received so many deliveries a week, we can bring in product next day. So if it's something that we don't have on hand, you know, we can bring it in next day be called the customer and let them know when it arrives. So it's really for us that one on one customer service. You know, being a custom butcher shop, we're happy to do special orders for people. And then also because we're bringing small quantities. And just because of you know how Jason and I were raised, we don't waste anything. Yeah, so any, any byproduct of the meat that we're cutting is either used for burgers, any kind of trim, for example, for steak or final cuts will use it to burgers, either to make sausage, even the fat, even the fat that is completely unedible we render down and use for frying. So we're I mean, this week, we you know, a couple weeks ago, we had a whole hog in so we're saving all the skins and using that for pork rinds. So all the bones are kept in in house, and we're boiling that first stock to make our gravy. So for us, it's it's really important that nothing is wasted. Yeah, that, that we use everything. So I think on our end, you know, there really is little to no waste, as far as the actual butchering is concerned. And then it's nice, it's a sense of community as well. And when you first opened, we had so many people telling us Oh, I remember this old butcher shop that was down the street. And, you know, I would go there with my grandparents, and it was just a different experience. And people are coming in now with their children. And the same thing, they met us at the farmers market, they're so happy for us, now they have a place to go. And we I mean, it's important to us, for people to know where meat comes from. Absolutely. So in our shop, we have, you know, a large window that faces into the production area, and you'll see everything. I mean, you watch us, you know, butcher and make sausage and you know, do do all the things that's necessary to for people do enjoy to enjoy that product.

MT  13:23  
Yeah. And and why do you think it's such a norm in Canada and not in the US? Like, why? What do you think is the distinction?

MS  13:32  
I mean, the bush, just in my small town, we had about three butcher shop deli, small markets, you know, there was a Portuguese one that was an Italian one. And there was a Polish one. So perhaps it's the newly immigrated that are coming to Canada and then you know, bringing the tradition with them. And, you know, we're, I don't know, it's just sort of maybe an older school, you know, styling in Europe the same way and a lot of older cities, you'll still find a lot of butcher shops, you know, you go to Chicago, New York, New Jersey, there are these shops that remain open for generations. You know, seeking tradition. I don't know, perhaps maybe it's just a Miami thing. You know, there's a lot of young people in Miami, but they do exist in other places, you know, in this country.

MT  14:21  
Yeah. And I think it's just a generational thing because of course, my parents my grandparents are from the small islands in Greece. So they either caught their own fish I mean, me they didn't eat too much meat but I think when they came to America, it was kind of the luxury to be able to buy their their meat and fish at the store. And so when Yeah, when COVID like the whole COVID crisis started, I am used to eating a lot of fish. So I was telling my mom, like, Oh, I'm trying to look up fish markets because I want to get some My mom's like, why don't you just go to the go to public go to the store and get fish? And I'm like, No, like, I want to get it from a fish market. So it's local. And she did really understand. She's like, Oh, well, I just get it off in the supermarket. So I think it's like, kind of like, yeah, definitely, for my grandparents. It's, it was it's totally like, convenience. It's a luxury. It's something that's they, they kind of came to the States. And they were like, super impressed by. And that's how my parents raised, right? I mean, you can't,

MS  15:31  
yeah, you can't beat the convenience. But right. I mean, people should have the choice, you know, like you can, if you'd like to go to a butcher shop and have a nice quality piece of meat, and you want to take that time, you know, and invest in in something because, you know, having a nice steak is a treat. Yeah, it honestly, you know, it shouldn't be an everyday thing. It should be in moderation. Make sure it's a quality product. And yeah, so you know, we we believe in that ourselves. So we're, you know, always happy when people come in. And but yeah, you should have the option. I mean, people like to go to Publix, and people like to come in?

MT  16:06  
Yes. And I think also, oftentimes, people just don't really think about it. And I, with this whole podcast, I'm kind of trying to reverse the clock, I guess, in a sense and have people just think, think about, okay, where is this coming from? What is the quality differences? Why should like, what's the importance of eating produce sets in season versus just produce from the supermarket that happens to be in season all year round, and just kind of be a little more mindful of it. But okay, so with that thought, I kind of now want to shift over into talking a bit about your menu at the shop. So who develops those recipes that are on your menu? And kind of like, what's that process like for you guys,

JS  16:54  
um, I mean, it's been, I mean, at this point, probably say, the knowledge is more on the meat production side. Um, and I'm handling more of the kitchen side, and other things, but, you know, primarily, it was the two of us, that was very much focused on our love for breakfast. So like, when you mentioned that you came to the markets, we did, that was our bread and butter was breakfast sandwiches. That was the base of our menu for the first year, you know, a couple years that were around and, you know, still is like the core part of our of our menu, it's our mat, our menu has wasn't so much thought out, you know, with with an overarching plan, but more just kind of grassroots develops into what it is at this point. And I think the only philosophy we have behind it pretty much are things that we'd like to eat that we enjoy. So it's,

MT  17:45  
I mean, it's a great fun

JS  17:46  
Yeah, I mean, it's kind of selfish when you look at it, but we kind of came from this in it from a bit of an outsider's perspective. Yeah, so you know, we don't have the same thought processes of like a lot of chefs and things like that. But it's, it's you know, it's a lot of things that we find craveable you know, based off of things that we produce on the butcher side. So a lot of the meats that that we started to just sell like you know, as a you know, as a product for the butcher side turned into sandwiches that we developed. Um and then when we opened up the shop, we kind of chalked it up with more of a lunch side menu you know, we were doing burgers at the market but now you know, burgers are a huge part of our menu at the shop, we pump out a lot of others but you know, we just focus on doing somewhat craveable simple sandwiches and items that that are just really well from scratch so we don't get too crazy as far as you know, recipes and different dishes but as far as we like to do simple things just very well. Um you with as that's made a very dense as possible.

MT  18:54  
Yeah, that's exactly it because if you have all the ingredients that you're using are good quality then you don't really need a ton of ingredients to make something delicious. Oh

JS  19:03  
absolutely. And the more things that we can make from scratch the the bigger difference that'll make them the you know, the end product that we're putting out so yeah, you know, we have things like a Banh Mi and you know, different sample sandwiches from you know, different culture you know, Cuban sandwich, we do an a Thai roast pork, which is like, the real Philly sandwich, you know, things like that, but, you know, those are, those are sandwiches that we enjoy eating and they're, you know, they're using products like ham and different things that we produce in house from the butcher side. So, you know, the burgers like Mel mentioned, we use a lot of our you take all the great steak trim that we're using and incorporate that in our burger blends or burger blind is amazing, like a steak burger.

MS  19:44  
We've got some pretty great Canadian delicacies as well. So we do the Montreal smoked meat sandwich. Putin, which is something that I grew up eating. So again, surely selfish, just thinking that we couldn't find anywhere else. So we're like, you know what, we'll make it. And then we can eat it whenever we want.

MT  20:03  
Yeah, exactly. That's kind of like, the like me starting this podcast, I was like, I am just gonna record the content that I want to listen to. And if nothing else, at least, I will learn a lot because it's the exact kind of thing that I want to that I would be interested in.

MS  20:23  
You know, sometimes you just have to do it yourself.

MT  20:25  
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so, also, can you kind of go into your condiments and sauces, because I saw on your menu that you're, they're all made in house. So how does that process go? What are your most popular sauces and condiments?

JS  20:42  
Well, they also started I mean, I think primarily just for the builds for the sandwiches that we're doing. So we make a couple different kinds of mustard. Like a straight yellow for our Cuban sandwich. We do like a grain mustard more of a sweeter grain mustard and we make maple syrup and Malta you know for for some other things but strangely enough our most popular sauces probably the most basic not anything crazy sheffy just a Russia NATO people love so we take you know, we just use like really good too. Heavy mayonnaise and serata and that's people go nuts for that stuff. They drink it. Yeah, so I mean, we do like to make a lot of you know, we make a really great Thousand Island dressing from scratch. I was never a fan of thousand island dressing. And I figured if we can make one that I enjoy, then we probably made a pretty good one because I really couldn't stand that stuff. And we make a killer Thousand Island and a Russia and we do a variant variation of a Russian dressing that's real popular.

MT  21:45  

MS  21:46  
I would say our pickles are pretty spectacular too.

JS  21:49  
Yeah we do a lot of pickles and ferments, we like to do a lot of ferments.

MS  21:52  
we do our own sauerkraut, which lately have been purple cabbage. So that adds like a nice pop of color. Yeah. And then yeah, a curry bread and butter pickle. The Maple multi mustard. It's great. Yeah,

MT  22:07  
I my listeners also know this because I talk about it a lot. But I've been experimenting with ferments the past few months, and it's so much fun. And it's just never ending information to learn about it and how it works and it produces produces the most delicious flavors. And I love it. Yeah, I I just bought actually a red cabbage that I wanted to make into crowd so we'll see how that how that goes. And it's very pretty. Yeah, I love I've been making pickled onions. And that's just the most they turn into the most beautiful hot pink color. Yeah, yeah. So super funny. But um, okay. And I okay, so when the one time that I did visit your shop, I noticed that you have a little cooler in the front and you carry all these local products like you had I remember you had really cool local cheeses and stuff. So can you kind of tell us a bit about that? Cool. I don't know if you still have it or not, but I'm sure I

MS  23:15  
mean, it's, it's changed a little in the past couple of months. But um, no, we're all about supporting people doing it. Yeah. So we're all about supporting, you know, all the people that we knew starting up at the farmers market. So as much as we can help the local producer get their product out there. We're all for Yeah, so for a long time we were carrying, you know, cookies made by two local bakers. fresh local teas made by by honey. Unfortunately, he passed away a few months ago, but, you know, he was a great producer of goat cheeses in this town, you know, really special some, you know, some local cheese's as well. But again, we try to focus on the kombucha be very great kombucha counterculture again from people that we know from the market.

MT  24:04  
Yeah! They're awesome. I just interviewed them last week.

MS  24:07  
Yeah, they're amazing, you know, are not necessarily just in the cooler but we we buy the majority of our vegetables from the heaven farm. Whatever is in season, we incorporate that. But um, yeah, that little cooler. I mean, it was a passion project of mine to really get the the cheese case up and up and running. And hopefully in the next few months, I'd like to start making my own cheese. Oh, yeah. But yeah, that's the dream.

MT  24:31  
Yeah. I mean, I love a cheese case.

MS  24:34  
But yeah, it's been it's been a little hard, you know, the last few months. Yeah,

MT  24:40  
Yeah. But yeah, what kind of what kind of cheese would you be interested in making like a goat cheese or?

MS  24:46  
Absolutely, yeah, I'd like to start with either maybe just pulling mozzarella or making nice fresh ricotta. Some symbol chefs and goat cheese. Start with that unless you know until we can get a temperature control. cooler or some kind of fake seller situation? It's kind of hard to make hard pressed cheeses. Oh, and have them as you know J Yeah, exactly. But I mean, there's got to be some ways to do it. So maybe starting with some, some fresh cheeses and then selling them and also incorporating them into some sandwiches would be would be pretty fun.

MT  25:19  
So yeah, it's like I'm your firm ends. It's kind of like a really fun educational adventure.

MS  25:27  
Yeah. Especially if you're if you're into it. So I mean, yeah, your mistakes can be Yeah, the stakes can be delicious. And that's the funnest part. You know, when you're passionate about something, and you have that energy and that drive to do it. Don't just get it done.

MT  25:42  
Yeah, definitely. And yeah, it's just like a science experiment. And I I loved science experiments growing up. So it's like, my version of that. Yeah, definitely. But um, Melanie, you just mentioned that you get your produce from B heaven. Is that what you guys use? I saw that you guys have a veggie bowl on your menu? Is that kind of what you guys use in that menu item and does it kind of change throughout the course of the year?

MS  26:09  
So some of it depending on what's in season will supplement the vegetables with with other veggies? It's not strictly from the heaven. Okay, but right now from be heaven. I mean, we're getting what no, Jason just put the farmer was at the shop today. So Jason, what did you get? Right?

MT  26:27  
Yeah, why did you get tell us?

JS  26:29  
Fortunately, it's um it's kind of slim pickins down here for anything but tropical fruit?

MT  26:34  
Yeah, cuz it's off season.

JS  26:36  
Yeah. So I mean, we're, we're able to get still green. So it's like certain greens through the summer that we use for our Italian roast pork sandwich. Because some that that one menu item in particular, the idea was always to use those seasonal greens. So we rotate the green on that but for right now, like all of the items right now in our vegetable, we're having to bring in just from conventional, you know, conventional means because of just there's nothing going on. There's some potatoes like there's some actually I take that back. We had some carrots and some beets that are still coming out from some of the farms, but there's very little coming out right now on that.

MT  27:12  
Some root vegetables the leafy stuff. It's too hot for that.

JS  27:16  
Yeah, I mean, there's some important to be found some hearty there's something called longevity or tropical spinach.

MT  27:22  
I've heard of that. Yeah.

JS  27:24  
That's pretty hearty. We really love callaloo, which is amaranth amor, it's the Jamaicans call it callaloo. It's kind of like I like to call it spinach Plus, it's like a really awesome green that other than if the bugs love it, too, but it does pretty well in the summer, if you can keep the bugs away from Yeah, it's really good. It's really nutrient dense. Just super flavorful.

MT  27:49  
I tried this green for the first time this year called Well, you guys probably heard of it, but it's called French sorrel.

JS  27:58  
Yeah it's got a lemony, kind of

MT  28:00  
Yeah, it's, it's, I took a bite out of it. And I was shocked. It tastes Yeah, it tastes like it's already dressed with lemon. It's like this super sick, like lemony, pungent flavor. It's so it just makes your mouth water. It's so good. So like, I put it in a salad and you don't even have to put lemon or anything. You just put some olive oil on its soup. Oh, it was delicious.

JS  28:25  
cooks was also we actually get a few things from some of the people that have worked for us too, because, um, you know, we've, we've employed some folks currently in the past that, you know, practice like small, you know, zoos, like box gardens and stuff and bringing interesting things. So one of our coaches are bringing a lot of peppers, and he was actually growing some French sorrel or last year earlier this year. That's where I've tasted it with him. Oh,

MT  28:48  
yeah. So good. I, I went home to Clearwater where I'm from a few weeks ago, and I brought some home for my mom to taste and she was she was also shocked. She's like, what is this? about it? But yeah, I also brought her some tropical fruit to taste. Because she loves she loves mangoes. But she she doesn't really know what mangoes are supposed to taste like. So I brought them some actual mangoes from here. And then some other tropical fruit and they were she was just like Mind blown by all of it.

JS  29:27  
Did you bring any jackfruit?

MT  29:29  
No, I didn't bring jackfruit But yeah, I needed to start you know, baby steps, but I brought like passion fruit lychees what else may so I bought it. Yeah. But um, okay. And so, lastly, can you guys kind of briefly outline how COVID has kind of impacted you guys and how you guys are all adapting to this whole new normal. That we were all experiencing right now.

MS  30:03  
Sure. Um, so in the very beginning of COVID, grocery stores started running out of meat. So customers would come to us and they're like, you know, I was just at Publix, there's no chicken left, there's no ground beef, there's this, and they were ordering insane amounts of meat. Oh, wow. And because of where we source our products, it's not commodities. So our, you know, our chain of distribution was never impacted. So we're still receiving, you know, great meat deliveries, we didn't run out of anything. And people were just, people are going crazy. No, they were, they were it was very, it was very busy, very stressful, I think for the first month or so we were just running on adrenaline because we couldn't keep enough products in stock. You know, it changed the dynamic of the shop, obviously, people weren't allowed in anymore. I think after a month or so we stopped letting people in altogether. So you know, that affects sales, people can't just come in and you know, grab a bag of chips or a bottle of wine. So we kind of changed the layout of the shop. So all of our products are facing now outside so people can see what we have. Um, but you know, it affected meat sales a little bit afterwards, because you know, people want to walk into a butcher shop and see a nice, big beautiful case, with, with cuts with meat in it. So it was kind of hard, you know, but I think we built up enough trust with our customers that when they come in, and they ask for, you know, a certain cut of meat, they know we're going to give them the freshest piece possible. I'm always willing to show them the cut, before we wrap it, you know, we really want to make sure that because it's an investment, you know, we understand people are paying top dollar for this product, and we want to make sure they're happy with it. And yes, we take care of it that way. But, you know, we've been lucky enough to we've, we've kept all of our employees. And we haven't had to, you know, we started taking a day off, which was a big change, because for two years now Jason and I have been working seven days a week at the shop and this. So finally, you know, took a little time. But yeah, it's the new normal and, that, you know, you have to adapt.

MT  32:19  
Yeah, you have to adapt. Like, every, it's just so interesting to me to hear how everyone has been adapting because it's people are really having to get creative and have these new alternate routes to, to you know, keep their businesses alive. So it's been really interesting to hear about all

JS  32:41  
we've got a lot of, we got a lot of friends who make some hard pivots. And yeah, we've been fortunate that we didn't have to pivot too much. Yeah, you know, we did have to change up but now I know a lot of folks that have had to really kind of reinvent themselves.

MT  32:54  
Yeah. And I I'm sure you guys know, Laurie land grebe. Yep. All right. She used to be. So I interviewed her at the very beginning of the pandemic, about her farmers market to go pot form. And I thought that was just such a great idea to kind of because she, I mean, she, she didn't start it because of COVID. She had already been planning on starting that. But she was saying that COVID kind of pushed it into fruition even faster. But I just love things like that. It's just such a smart way to adapt and accommodate to this new normal that we're all having to deal with. But yeah, people are getting creative. And I mean, yeah, you have to adapt. You have to

JS  33:42  
know absolutely. Unfortunately. That's the only way being flexible and adaptable is the only way to make it through this. Oh, for sure.

MT  33:47  
Yeah. But all right, Jason and Melanie, that's it for us. Thank you so much for your time. I really really loved having you guys on appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you horse, of course backer. Okay, have a good one. All right. Bye.

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