Friday, September 16, 2011

The Organic Butcher of McLean - McLean VA

Article 1 - Series: The BEST Local Places You Should Know About

There are so many uncertainties in the world today. Where your meat comes from and what is in it should not be one of them. That is something the Organic Butcher wants to help you with. An old school European style butcher located in McLean, the Organic Butcher was started back in 2005 by Don and his Brother in-law, Ryan Ford. Ryan resides in Charlottesville and operates that location while Don owns and operates the McLean store.

They focus almost exclusively on local farms, .to make sure they know who they are dealing with, the conditions the animals are raised, and methods the meat is prepared for sale. Their products are free of chemicals and hormones, and the fish is purchased from Clean Fish (, a sustainable seafood company with a fabulous reputation. Organic Butcher is serious about bringing the customer the absolute best product around.

One of the questions I asked Don during our interview was “what makes the Organic Butcher different than a Whole Foods?” He stated that it is the customer service they provide that is the driving force for them and their dedication to local farms ensures the origin of the product is better documented and monitored. My own observation is that these are butchers. This is their livelihood and it is what they do. With stores like Whole Foods, they may move staff around, therefore making the knowledge of the staff unpredictable. At the Organic Butcher the focus is on you and the quality of what they are selling. Don has been there from the beginning, and so has Wendell (another butcher at the store). Chad and Wyatt round off the compliment of staff eager to assist in your delectable purchase. They know their customers, there are few strangers, and those that are, are not that way for long.

An enthusiastic customer, McLean resident Jeff Killduff, stopped by our table as Don and I talked. He wanted to be extra sure I knew that Organic Butcher was the best place for quality organic meat in town. His enthusiasm was contagious. I felt like shopping right then. I am thinking Don should hire him to be a spokesman.

I wanted to know what are the boss man’s favorite items. “I am really into wild game, wild boar and venison. For beef, I would say a good hanger steak or rib eye.” You can definitely find wild boar in shop. I would love to try that myself sometime. They even make their own varieties of sausage!

In the future, Don is looking into options such as online ordering and local delivery. They already provide wholesale ordering for restaurants like the Blue Duck Tavern.

Whether you’re talking fresh free range turkeys for Thanksgiving or ground beef for your everyday meatloaf, the Organic Butcher is the place to get those needs met without all the worry attached.

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