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Business Intel: Butcher shop to open in South Roanoke

Business Intel: Butcher shop to open in South Roanoke

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Yard Bull Meats

Butcher shop Yard Bull Meats will occupy the former Goldsmith Jewelers space between Crystal Spring Grocery Co. and The River & Rail restaurant.

A butcher shop is coming to South Roanoke.

Tyler Thomas and Elliott Orwick plan to open Yard Bull Meats in the former Goldsmith Jewelers space situated between The River & Rail, where Thomas also serves as the executive chef, and Crystal Spring Grocery Co.

Thomas said he hopes to open the shop to customers in the fall, after construction is completed, but in the meantime the business will host pop-up events and also take orders by phone, which can then be picked up from Crystal Spring Grocery Co.

Yard Bull Meats will have a focus on local products that are thoughtfully and sustainability sourced; Thomas said he’s already established relationships with a number of farms in the area. The business will also offer seafood.

“We’ll be doing lots of whole-carcass animals so we’ll be able to source you things you wouldn’t normally get and we’ll be able to cut things exactly how people want,” Thomas said. “And that’s what your butcher is for.”

Thomas, who moved to Roanoke about five years ago, said he previously worked as a whole-animal butcher in Charlottesville. As a chef, he’s struggled to find quality meats. Thomas said it’s “fitting” that he open a butcher shop himself.

“I have all these relationships built with these wonderful farmers and I know how to do it and it kind of seems like a waste of all that effort if I don’t do it,” he said.

Since the closing of O’Brien Meats in Salem in 2019, Thomas said there’s been a dearth of butcher shops in the region, making him confident there is a market for one.

Thomas said he hopes Yard Bull Meats can offer a personal experience for customers, with butchers getting to know the customers and what they like.

“Our job is to educate the customer,” he said. “There’s a lot more interesting steaks than the three that come to the top of your mind.”

Yard Bull Meats will be located at 2203 Crystal Spring Ave. S.W. While the shop is under construction, orders can be placed by phone at 540-500-MEAT.

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Casey Fabris covers business for The Roanoke Times, where she has been a reporter since 2015. Previously, Casey covered Franklin County. She can be reached at (540) 981-3234 or casey.fabris@roanoke.com.

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