Expect “everything but the oink” to be on the menu at a new artisan butcher shop coming to the McHenry Village in Modesto this spring.
The Village Butcher is under construction on the north-facing Brissgmore Avenue side of the complex, two doors down from Bauer’s 66 1/2 Skillet & Grill. The shop will provide whole-animal butcher services plus have an in-house deli for dine-in or take-out food.
Owner and head butcher Matt Soderstrom, a Modesto native, returned to the valley nine months ago after living in Denver for three years. He grew up in the FFA raising hogs and lambs, graduated from Johansen High, and then went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo were he studied political science. After graduating he got what he called a “suit-and-tie job” in San Francisco, but was smoking brisket and pork butt for his neighbors whenever he could instead.
“I hated it and decided I wanted to be a butcher. I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew other people have found a way to be paid for doing this. I was Googling, ‘How do you make a business plan?’” he said.
Luckily his wife, Stacy, has experience opening and managing restaurant franchises. The family moved to Colorado where he spent those three years working with another artisan butcher.
His new Modesto shop, in the former site of the Hale Frame Shop & Gallery, will have an open feel so people can see the work being done. The 2,000 square-foot space has been gutted and is being rebuilt to include a commercial kitchen complete with grills, smokers, fryers, dry-age room and more. An inside dining area will have space for 15 to 20 seats.
Soderstrom plans to have fresh beef, pork, chicken and lamb available daily, as well as a small selection of popular seafood including salmon and shrimp. As whole-animal butcher shop, he wants to be very particular about where he gets his meat so as much as possible, Soderstrom plans to source from smaller, local farms.
Then almost every part of those animals will then be butchered and used in shop. That “nose-to-tail” approach means everything from traditional cuts like filet and briskets to the bones for broth and marrow, pork skin for chicharrones and fat for lard or deep fryers. Even the parts of the animal humans don’t consume, like organs and scarps, will be used for a dog food program run out of the shop.
“We anticipate having next to zero waste as far as proteins go,” he said. “We’re using all of the parts of the animal. It’s going to be real exciting. We are as much as possible be sourcing as local as possible and as direct from the farmer as possible.”
The deli will feature a rotating seasonal menu. Sandwiches will be made with in-house prepared meats including tri-tip, brisket, pulled pork and meatballs. He also plans to make from-scratch soups and stews and have oven-ready, prepared meals for purchase. Down the road he also intends to make his own charcutierie.
Soderstrom hopes to be open my mid-to-late May. For more information visit www.thevillagebutcher209.com.