There's a new butcher in town.
Or more accurately, there is a new butcher at the Downtown Market.
Carvers: Grand Rapids’ Finest Meats, opened for business Oct. 7, becoming the newest tenant inside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Hall
Carvers will feature the traditional products you expect to find in a neighborhood butcher store, plus a little more. Cases will be packed with a variety of high-end meats (beef, pork, poultry, lamb, etc.) at an “approachable price” (more on this later). Beef options will include a full line of 100 percent grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef as well as high-end Kobe options. Heritage Kurobota pork, pork belly, unique house-made sausages, and organic, free-range chickens will also be available year-round.
Carvers too will feature a full-service kitchen with made-from-scratch items, including a $5 burger feature, chicken wings, pastrami and corned-beef sandwiches, and a full-service deli, where customers can customize their own grab-and-go sandwiches and salad bowls, made to order by deli specialists.
The founder of Carvers is none other than Jeff Butzow, the culinary impresario behind Fish Lads
, a Downtown Market anchor.
Between fish mongering and opening his new business, Butzow is very busy but Rapid Growth managed to catch up and ask a few questions about Carvers via email.
With your experience at the market, why is Carver's needed after the previous butcher closed? Are you going to be doing anything different?
Folks shopping at the Downtown Market have missed the option of having fresh meat, on-demand. We’ve listened to customers for the past several months and put together options that will hopefully satisfy everybody. From a line of grass-fed beef that’s never been treated with antibiotics or hormones to American Wagyu beef to heritage pork and organic chickens, we’re trying to reach consumers who are seeking sustainable and delicious options. We also have a full-service deli that features a full line of nitrate- and nitrite-free lunch meats and charcuterie.
What does "approachable price" mean?
Because meat products come in greater quantities and are easier to cross-utilize than high-end seafood, we’re able to pass along cost savings to consumers. Our menu features a $5 burger made from high-end beef we grind in house from our steak trimmings. Customers will be able to pick a sausage from the case and get it grilled right then from the kitchen. We know consumers have expressed surprise at some of the prices in the Downtown Market, and we want to show that this is an experience open to anyone regardless of income level.
Are you working with any local (or regional) farms for the meats?
We are proud to be retailers of Otto’s
chicken and turkey, from their farm in Middleville. Our pork comes from DeVries
in Coopersville, and is excellent. But, like Fish Lads, we’ve strived to reach across the globe to source the very best products for consumers that fit with our commitment to quality and sustainability. For example, our grass-fed beef comes from Australia, and we selected them as our provider because of their ability to consistently provide diverse selections of antibiotic- and hormone-free cattle.
How many jobs will Carvers be "carving" out?
We have added eight new staffers, and been able to create more hours for our Fish Lads crew. We are currently hiring, and encourage anyone interested in joining our growing team to come down and apply.
What are the similarities and differences between Fish Lads and Carvers?
Carvers is essentially an extension of the Fish Lads experience, just meat-centric. The same front-of-house staff that serve customers at Fish Lads will extend their reach down the counter to Carvers. We’ve hired experienced butchers that know their meat and will serve as great resources for customers, whether they’re looking to try out a new cut of meat, or simply want a new recipe to spice up their dining routine. We aim to serve the highest quality products without pretense.
For more information about Carvers, you can check out their Facebook page here
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor