Red Table Meat Company
What They Feed:
various dry cured salumi using heritage breed pork from 5 local farms
Seeders They Support: Pork n’ Plants (Altura, MN), Hidden Stream (Elgin, MN), Yker Acres (Wrenshall, MN), Littlefoot Farm (Afton, MN), Moo, Oink, Cluck (Sommerset, WI)
Where You Can Find Them:
Farmers Markets: Mill City, NE Farmers Market, Linden Hills
Minneapolis/St Paul: Surdyk’s Cheese Shop, France 44, St. Paul Cheese Shop, Clancey’s Meats, Kowalski’s Markets, Wedge Table & Community Co-op, Lunds & Byerlys
National: BKLYN Larder (NY), Murray’s Cheese (NY), St Kilian’s Cheese Shop (Denver)
Feeders They Supply:
Minneapolis/St Paul: Birchwood Cafe, Corner Table, Piccolo, Spoon and Stable, Republic, Pizzeria Lola, Patisserie 46, Bachelor Farmer, Brasa, Fulton Brewery, Dark Horse Bar & Eatery, Red Stag Supperclub
National: Daniel NYC (New York)
Full list of restaurant and retail locations on Red Table Meat Co website.
Mike Phillips, salumiere and co-founder of Red Table Meat Company, has worked with local farmers his whole life, having grown up in a small farming community in Iowa. Mike started working in restaurants during college in St Paul, from dishwasher to cook and eventually to chef at Craftsman Restaurant in Minneapolis. Throughout his 20 years in the industry he’s always worked closely with farmers and producers. Travel throughout Italy, Spain and France showed Mike the fierce pride that people had for the products produced in their backyard and he wanted to see that at home. Mike trained with Swiss butcher, Francois Vecchio, and returned home to Minnesota. As the local food movement continued to gain traction there Mike saw a need for great dry cured salumi.
In 2010, Mike met Kieran Folliard, a Twin Cities Irish bar owner and founder of his own Irish whiskey brand called 2 Gingers. Kieran also had 20+ years experience in the food and restaurant business and brought his marketing and branding skills to the table. Mike and Kieran decided to go into business together to create a world-class salumi produced with Minnesota-raised pork. The business was started when Mike went to work in Kieran’s Pubs, buying whole pigs and making all sorts of salumi and charcuterie for the restaurant. This was the incubation of Red Table Meat Company that lasted for about 2 years while Mike and Kieran looked for space to go into production. In 2013 Kieran bought a 30,000 square foot building and he and Mike built out a 5500 sq ft USDA-regulated processing facility. The rest of the building became the Food Building, adding a creamery, The Lone Grazer, with plans for a bakery as well.
Since launching in late 2014, Red Table Meat Company has reached a 10-15 pigs a week production. All of the animals come from 5 local farms, some of whom Mike has been working with for over 10 years. The pigs are raised on outdoor pasture and finished on barley to give a wonderful hard fat. Some of the farms also feed pigs the whey from Lone Grazer creamery. The farmers are paid a premium price for their pigs; Red Table Meat Co asks the farmers what they need to subsist on and don’t just set a price. They are proud to have a positive impact on a lot of people by working with their farms.
What Inspires: “Inspiration for us comes from the farmers with whom we work and collaborate. Their hard work to grow really amazing pigs and make sure they plan everything out in advance is mind boggling. We just simply could not do it with out them.” – Mike Phillips, Red Table Meat Co
Future Projects: Red Table Meat Co would like their market to expand enough that they could handle up to 30 pigs a week and take on another couple of farms. They have seen good growth in the first year and plan to make more connections with the right partners across the country to make that happen.
Advice for New Feeders: “We are really new, but my advice is to listen to yourself about what is right and stick to the mission you come up with. Then re-evaluate when you need to. Listen to your customers and try to get them what they want.” – Mike Phillips, Red Table Meat Co
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Photo Credit: Red Table Meat Co