Business: Local livestock staying home at Proper Meats + Provisions

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa, Arizona Daily Sun

Proper Meats + Provisions Renovation

Renovation continues at 110 South San Francisco Street where Proper Meats and Provisions hopes to open their doors by early September. (Taylor Mahoney/Arizona Daily Sun)

The corner meat market is returning to Flagstaff.

The owners of Criollo and Brix are looking to open Proper Meats + Provisions at 101 S. San Francisco Street by Sept. 1.

Just like their restaurants, the shop will focus on locally sourced meats, charcuterie (dried and cured meats) and other local sauces and delicacies, said David Smith, one of the co-owners in the project. His partners are Laura and Paul Moir.

The original idea was to attract more local ranchers to the market in Flagstaff, Smith said. Criollo and Brix pride themselves on supporting local farmers and ranchers.

And many of the restaurant’s customers have come to expect and even demand local meat and produce, he said.

But in order to get their products to the restaurants, the ranchers have to drive their stock down to remote processing plants — the closest is in Cottonwood — then truck it back up to Flagstaff, where it will be made into choice cuts at the store.

More retail sales might lower the costs and entice others to try the Flagstaff market.

“We’re hoping this will make it easier to attract local producers,” Smith said.

But as the group started thinking more about the shop, they decided to offer the same selection of choice local meats they serve at their restaurants. This would give local ranchers yet another local market for their product.

“We’re hoping for about 80 percent of business to come from that,” Smith said. “We want to put the different types of meat side by side, so that people can learn about and taste the different types of beef there are and talk to the butcher.”

The shop will offer meat from four beef ranches, four pork producers, three chicken farms and two lamb farms, all located within Arizona, he said. The shop is also hoping to sell to other local restaurants and keep some of the money coming into the community local.

“We want to offer a different way to shop,” Smith said.

He said similar shops were opening in Portland, Ore., when he left. It was a success there.

But supporting local producers is not a gimmick, Smith said.

The restaurants and the meat market could shave a lot of money off their total costs if they went with a mass meat producer, he said. But that would send money out of state and there’s no way to tell how the animals were treated in the process.

“It’s something we believe in,” he said. “I was a vegetarian for four years. Now, I don’t eat meat until I know where it comes from, how the animals have been butchered and how they’ve been raised.”

Proper Meats + Provisions will also offer shelf space to local brands, such as RisingHy hot sauces.

“We want to be 100 percent local,” he said.

As it turns out, Proper Meats won’t be the only new market in Southside soon. The Tinderbox Kitchen just down the street has plans to create a specialty market with grab and go food along with special deli meats and cheeses.

They’ll also offer some of the special sauces they make at the Tinderbox.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa can be reached at sadams@azdailysun.com or 556-2253.

Proper Meats+Provisions

110 S. San Fransico St.

Flagstaff

The market is currently under construction but hopes to be open to the public by Sept. 1.