By David F. Rooney
Local carnivores seeking an alternative source of meat will, in mid-May, get their wish. That’s when Ray’s Butcher Shop will open its doors next La Baguette.
“Right now there’s no alternative for consumers,” Ray Cooper said in an interview. “You either get your meat from Coopers or Southside.”
That’s about to change. When the 26-year-old opens his butcher shop next to La Baguette in mid-May, Cooper plans on bringing in naturally grown beef and chicken from Riverside Meats in Salmon Arm and pork from the Lower Mainland. Regionally raised lamb will also be available.
“This will be natural meat from animals that haven’t been pumped full of anti-biotics and hormones,” he said in an interview.
The difference between natural meat and certified organic meat has to do with the number of nearby non-organic or factory farms. Those that are certified organic, not only must abstain from anti-biotics and hormone injections but cannot be near non-organically certified farms. That particular restriction does not apply to natural farms.
Cooper, who was born in New Westminster but lived here since he was five, studied meat-cutting through Thompson Rivers University’s trades program in 2007 and 2008 achieving a level two apprenticeship. He also worked for 10 months as a meat cutter at Southside before deciding to start his own business. He has drive, ambition and some ideas he hopes will appeal to customers. Cooper will also have his own smokehouse so he can make his own sausages. He’ll also offer $50 and $100 freezer-packs of customers’ favourite cuts. And he’ll order in quarter, half or whole animals for customers.
Ray’s Butcher Shop will open in mid-May and will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am until 7 pm. Additional details will be posted in The Current as they become available.