Yesterday we had a great start of the week with our field trip for the workshop at Côte à l’os, a butcher that specializes in local quality meats. This is one of those activities that come out of a coffee pause with some of the Betacoworkers (in this case John and Tricia). We talk a lot about food in our free time and we had the idea to buy a whole pork (a cow is too big for a first time) among the betacoworkers. I know it does not sound like a very professional field trip, but it was a great way to spend a few hours together learning and talking about other things besides work; plus Thierry Depuydt is doing an amazing job in social media :)
Organizing it was really easy: I just sent an email to our members list and I quickly got a few addresses. I contacted all of them and Thierry stood out: he understood the crowd of Betacowork and immediately offered to organize a workshop in the back of his shop to teach us about the body of the pigs and how to cut them, plus a tasting of his refined matured meats. Who can say no to that? (Beyond our vegetarian members, of course.)
The back of the butcher shop was impressive: very well organized, super clean, with a buzz of people working and a lot of mysterious equipment. We had the chance of having Thierry with us all the time; one of his workers, Michel, who has been cutting meat since he was 15; and a representative of the cooperative that raises the pigs on straw beds. Thierry inherited the business from his parents and he has been growing it ever since.
What stroke me from the beginning is his mastery in social media and internet marketing (check their facebook page). He event made a video call to show us the piggies in their farm. He’s sold a cow on kickstarter and for the last year has been organizing group buys of pigs (share your pig) and cows (share your cow). He organizes the sales of animals as events on Facebook! :) All this in coordination with local farmers that know in advance that their animals are paid for :) He’s the hardest working man in the butcher business :)
We learned a lot and got a lot of great cuts to cook at home. Then we moved to another part of the back of the house for a tasting of raw and cooked matured meats (from 4 to 5 weeks). The pictures will give you a better idea than anything I could write.
At the end we were all full, happy and carrying big bags of goodies :) The trip was great to get to know each other better. Next step, sharing the recipes :)
TL;DR: you missed something great.