While there are amazing women in every industry, it always seems that much more refreshing when women shatter ceilings in a male-dominated business. So when Heather Thomason and Cecilie May broke off from the popular Kensington Quarters to create their own shop, they had us #WCW-ing hard. The two knife-wielding women certainly didn’t butcher any expectations. (Sorry, we had to…) Their new venture, Primal Supply Meats, is committed to providing locally sourced, sustainable meats to Philadelphians.
When asked how being a woman has affected her career, Thomason attributes her success to those who believed in her and took a chance on her passion. “I’ve seen men look right through me—other butchers, farmers, and even customers from time to time. But there are a few men who saw me for who I am and what I am determined to do, and they are entirely responsible for the skills I’ve developed and the work I’m doing today.”
Primal Supply Meats provides primal and custom cuts to their restaurants clients. Though home cooks can purchase retail cuts through online meat subscriptions for families and individuals. These convenient programs allow customers to pick up their cuts on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in insulated reusable cooler bags, according to their needs. In addition, the meats can also be found at pop-up farmers’ markets from time to time. With unfamiliar cuts, the team is always happy to answer questions and offer cooking tips.
Thomason and May’s mission aims to build a strong network in Philadelphia through bringing sustainable and quality options to the area. Both ladies have spent significant time working within the local agriculture community, which is essential to their new brand. Primal Supply Meats sources directly from local farmers and only works with organizations that align with their mission. With a completely transparent model, Primal Supply Meats works with sources that treat their animals humanely, from birth to slaughter. All animals are free of hormones, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, and GMO feeds. Some examples of local Pennsylvania farms they work with are: Wild Rose Ranch in Dry Run (grassfed beef), North Mountain Pastures in Newport (pastured pork), and Rettland Farm in Gettysburg (pastured poultry).
Aside from practicing whole animal butchery themselves, Thomason and May also share their skills by sharing their knowledge. Watch the ladies dive into their signature cutting and cooking techniques through instructive demonstrations. Head to their upcoming classes, Whole Hog Butchery in March or Sausage Making in April, for a breakdown on cooking with these meats. You can also find Thomason on Saturday, April 8 at the Philly Farm & Food Festival as she leads a whole animal butchery demonstration at the PF3 Kitchen.