“Growing beef locally isn't hard, but growing fantastic beef is.”
— PJ Jackson, co-owner of The Chop Shop Butchery
The Chop Shop Butchery has been open on Charlotte Street in Asheville for 9 long years, but you might not know that it has been under new management for the past year and a half.
PJ and Sharon Jackson along with their friend and business partner Matt Helms took ownership of The Chop Shop when they were given the opportunity while working there.
“Matt and I have been working at the Chop Shop for 5 and 3 years respectively,” PJ said. “We had the opportunity to not only manage but own the business about 18 months ago, so we bought it, along with my wife Sharon, because we believed in ourselves, our farmers and our community to support it all.”
The goal of the butchery has always been to bring back the neighborhood butcher shop and do so by partnering with great local and regional farmers. But PJ, Sharon and Matt had even bigger plans for the shop.
“The first thing we did when we bought the shop was start an education series,” PJ said, “and it's taken off like we couldn't imagine!”
The Chop Shop has held classes to teach the public how to handle every type of meat imaginable. PJ said over the past year and a half they have helped educate more than 150 people about sourcing, butchery and cooking.
As new owners, they also wanted to make sure they were conducting their business to the highest degree, which led them to create their 3 commitments for the butchery.
The first commitment is location. “We work with local farms that meet our criteria,” PJ explained, “not skipping over some to get what’s cheaper.”
They buy North Carolina beef calved to harvest from Apple Brandy Beef in North Wilkesboro, Warren Wilson College Farm pork from Swannanoa and Joyce Farms Poultry from across the state.
The second commitment is sustainability. All of the farms The Chop Shop sources from work in a natural way without ever administering antibiotics, hormones or steroids.
“All of our beef, lamb and pork is fully pastured — not feed-lot or confinement ever,” PJ said. “We also sell a selection of both free-range and pasture-raised poultry.”
And the third commitment is to provide customers with delicious products. The new owners have sought out the farms that are going that extra step to produce the best tasting products you can find.
“Whether it's whey from a local creamery, spent grains from a local brewer to use in pork feed, dry-aging meat at the slaughterhouse, or years of work in genetics to find a tender, flavorful bird, we want the value of what our farmers are doing to be recognized by our community and guests,” PJ said.
Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by The Chop Shop to see Sharon working hard at the shop every single day, Matt butchering and managing the meats, and PJ managing the day-to-day operations of the business.
“Growing beef locally isn't hard,” PJ said, “but growing fantastic beef is.”
Try the fantastic beef at The Chop Shop when you stop by for lunch from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and find all the specials, classes, events and more from the butchery by checking out their Dig Local profile.