No matter how much you love meat, it’s hard to love the factory farm system. Growing as many animals as possible, as quickly as possible, for as low a cost as possible, can’t be ideal for the quality of the meat, or the quality of life of the animal. When we buy meat in a supermarket, we don’t like to think of where it comes from. We like to picture the animals being raised naturally on small family farms. The labels on the packaging may even play into this idyllic image of happy animals on sunny farms. The reality is usually much different, unless that label says Cumbrae’s.
Cumbrae’s is a big city butcher that actually sources its meat from small old-fashioned farms. Cumbrae’s tells us:
In an age where local and artisanal are the buzzwords that huge brands are built on, it can be virtually impossible to find the real thing. That’s where Cumbrae’s is completely unique. What Cumbrae’s has done is connect all the farmers who are doing things right – the old-fashioned way – and brought them into the fold and given them a place where they can farm without the enormous pressure, constraints and quotas of the factory system.
The factory farm system is interested in producing maximum product at minimum cost. This puts farmers who sign on with big agriculture companies into what can be a stressful situation for themselves and the animals. In order to meet quotas within the constraints of the factory system, farms and farmers are forced to change they way they operate. Quality must take a back seat to efficiency.
The way the Cumbrae’s operation works means that everyone in the equation needs to be treated well in order for everyone involved to stay involved. It’s simple. Take care of the farmers who want to take care of the animals, and the result is meat that is unsurpassed in quality and taste.
As strange as it may seem, a big city butcher shop with its own farms and a network of small family farms working with them is almost unheard of. Its what sets Cumbrae’s apart. Their animals are raised well, fed well and expertly butchered and processed in small abattoirs. Happy animals lead to high quality meat. But you don’t need to take Cumbrae’s word for it. In addition to their stores, Cumbrae’s also supplies over 50 of the region’s best restaurants. Listen to what the chefs like Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room and Flock have to say:
The beef has a unique smell and flavour that no other beef I’ve tried has. That is, in fact, why I buy Cumbrae’s beef. I like the 45 day aged bone-in ribeye côte de boeuf, for me it is the best example of their beef. I just roast it in a cast iron pan with lots of butter, garlic and salt. Maybe throw in a little thyme and rosemary, then I carve it up tableside. It will change the way you think about beef.
Chef’s not only serve it in their restaurants, but Cumbrae’s products are also what they serve to their families. Anthony Rose of Wilder & Rose Restaurant Group says;
I bring home the butterflied chicken and brine it for 48 hours, then sear it in a cast iron pan and go low and slow in the oven, skin side down, until it’s done. Then just kiss the perfectly roasted bird with salsa verde. It’s my son’s favourite meal.
In today’s world, where commerce too often comes before quality and common sense, isn’t it nice to know that there’s a local butcher doing it the right way? A business built on local and artisanal food practices.
We bring the country to the city and to do that well we cultivate great relationships on each end – with the farmers and the animals in the country, and the educated and informed customers in the city.
Visit your local Cumbrae’s butcher today for the best meat the city has to offer.
Cumbrae’s, at 481 Church Street, serves the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood including the Greenrock Village Green Community (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street). For more information onGreenrock Property Management and our Communities throughout the city.