We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Sabicer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, what matters most to you?
Integrity: It might seem clique, but walking the walk seems critically important in our society today, and especially in the meat business which has had its share of scandal and dishonesty. Personally, that means choosing a career path that has been more about my environmental values and desire to positively contribute to society, than it has been about financial benefit. For my business, it means sticking to our core values of transparency, quality and responsible sourcing as we provide the best meats to Southern California. At Electric City Butcher, we want you to be confident that the meats you’re buying are not only the best tasting, but they are also most respectful to the animal, the earth, and our farmers. So much small business is conducted with a handshake and a smile. Without integrity, I couldn’t get up in the morning to do the hard work I am so proud of.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Electric City Butcher is the premier whole animal butcher shop in Orange County, CA. Our focus on whole-animal butchery allows us to create and offer unique cuts of meat, sausage, and charcuterie that are delicious and unique. We are dedicated to quality, transparency, and responsible sourcing in everything we do. We source the best, grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, pork, poultry, and lamb, and can special order many exotic and game meats. We partner with small, family-owned farms and ranches that are actively reducing agriculture’s negative impact on the environment. We guarantee that our hand-crafted charcuterie, sausages, and cut-to-order meats are of unparalleled quality. We offer personalized service to each of our guests because it matters, and we know you will taste the difference. I am most proud of our sourcing. We visit our farmers every year, and know our farmers by first name. I’m also ecstatic that our meats are actually part of the solution for repairing the planet. Regenerative Agriculture is an important part of what we do. I’m also proud of my blog: Top Carnivore (electriccitybutcher.com/blog) I spent more than a year writing about my passions, food, the environment, agriculture, and had a blast doing it. I still dabble on the blog, but that one year commitment to really getting all my ideas out was a lot of fun. Getting to where I am now has been a circuitous route for sure. I wanted to be a marine biologist as a kid, then watching Indiana Jones movies made me want to be an Archaeologist. I excavated in Isreal during college and almost went to Grad School for a PhD. I was briefly a rock and roll roady, a public policy think tank wonk in Washington DC, then a decade-long healthcare PR professional in NYC before my wife and I sold everything and backpacked through Latin America and France for year. I joined ECB, while finishing up an adjunct position teaching at USC. I’ve realized that there isn’t one path, one job, one goal in life. For me, it’s the increasingly complicated web of experiences and skills that make me better at solving problems and creating solutions. For me, it’s all about the people relationships along the way, and better understanding what makes most sense for the industries I’m in. I can’t wait for Electric City Butcher to be a catalyst in changing the way we think about meat, agriculture, and our health. My motto is everything in moderation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One week in LA: –Hike the Santa Monica Mountains. There are so many trails, and the beaches aren’t for me. –n/naka: by far the best restaurant in Los Angeles –Getty Villa, it’s kind of the Disneyland of art museums, but such an experience, what a view, and I did say I loved Archaeology. –Grand Central Market: There are some great eateries and shops here, especially our buddies at DTLA Cheese; best grilled cheese ever! –Amandine Patisserie Cafe and Coral Tree Cafe in Brentwood –Urth Cafe in the Arts District, and you can walk over to the–made famous in movies–LA “River” –Go to the desert (Joshua Tree has become a bit of a parking lot, but I still love finding time to escape to the Mojave or Anza Borego) –Tacos, tacos, tacos: Wherever Gustavo Arellano of LA Times says to go. –Claremont: It’s where I call home and a little slice of the East Coast in So Cal, even if folks don’t realize it’s part of LA County. Favorite places to eat/drink: Last Name Brewing, Uno Tres Otto, the Cheese Cave and Creme Bakery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Michael Pollan’s book Omnivore’s Dilemma really caused two of my worlds to collide, agriculture and sustainability. In a good way. In the same vein, my business partner Michael Puglisi has allowed me to learn firsthand (if only an inch deep) what drives and shapes the culinary world. Through my work with Michael and Electric City Butcher I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many of the most important influencers in the sustainable food movement today.
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