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Where to buy meat from local purveyors in New York amidst a reported shortage

Written by
Bao Ong
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As states begin to reopen across the country, there’s a reported upcoming shortage you may be surprised to encounter: grocery stores with bare meat counters and skyrocketing prices.

The issue isn't a shortage of meat or a supply chain issue, but the current crisis has contributed to some of the largest meat suppliers—such as Tyson—having to temporarily shutter their factories in recent weeks as employees have gotten sick. But today, consumers can more easily rely on local suppliers and farmers than ever before. Fresh and seasonal produce can be at your doorsteps within a few clicks and there are even ways to score that elusive bag of flour or packet of yeast during a deficit.

“We’re seeing that people do want to support small businesses,” says Dan Honig, owner of Happy Valley Meat Company, which had supplied mainly restaurants with meat sourced from local farms but is now available to consumers. It's clear the smaller, independently-owned businesses are stepping up. Here are some of the New York-centric purveyors stepping in to fill that void:

DeBragga

DeBragga
Photography: DeBragga & Spitler

Since the 1920’s, DeBragga has been serving the city’s top restaurants, but recently, they launched DeBragga Local to offer delivery to residents in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia in addition to the nationwide e-commerce business they’ve had for years. “We’re all trying to find ways to help each other out so we can survive,” says Marc Sarrazin, President and CEO of DeBragga. 

Marlow & Daughters Butcher Shop

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This butcher shop specializes in nose-to-tail butchery with a focus on 100% grass-fed beef. It’s the same high-quality meat you’d find at Andrew Tarlow’s restaurants like Diner. Another bonus: they have sandwiches made by Caroline Fidanza of the beloved Saltie.

Happy Valley Meat Co.

Happy Valley Meat
Photograph: John Poiarkoff

Happy Valley Meat was working mostly with restaurants until recently. There’s a list available every day at 9am of the ethically-raised meats available from small farms where you can get some of the best cuts used by chefs across the city.

Piccinini Bros

Piccinini Bros
Photograph: Matthew Septimus

Piccinini Brothers has been around since 1922 and for most of that time, its Ninth Avenue storefront in Hell’s Kitchen has been focused on wholesale business. Now, they’ve launched an online shop with curbside pickup and delivery to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester and the Hamptons. “About a month in, we’ve more than doubled our [direct-to-consumer] business,” says co-owner Sylvie Vaccari.

Pino’s Prime Meat Market

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This Soho butchery has been family-owned and operated for 115 years, serving neighbors and restaurants alike with quality cuts of meat from a space that still feels like a mom-and-pop shop that's increasingly rare in New York. Call them at 212-475-8134 to inquire about deliveries.

Bella Bella Gourmet Foods

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Much of the poultry, specialty meats, foie gras (at least while it’s still legal in NY) and other game birds from Bella Bella are sourced from Sullivan County in upstate New York.

The Fly 

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One of the city’s most beloved roasted chickens can’t be enjoyed at The Fly (or Hart’s) for the time being, but you can buy a ready-to-roast chicken that can be picked up on Wednesdays.

Foster Sundry

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Beef, chicken, pork and the rest of the basic proteins you’d want to stock up on are available for delivery (but be sure to check their regular updates).

Colonia Verde

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Colonia Verde debuted Colonia Go, a pantry store where you can pick up natural wines and various cuts of steaks to top off the flour tortillas.

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