Carrboro has Cliff’s, and now Durham is getting Rose’s.
Katie and Justin Meddis, the husband-and-wife team behind the meat market, met while working at the trio of Charleston, S.C. restaurants owned by Hospitality Management Group Inc.: Magnolias, Blossom and Cypress. There, they learned the art behind butchery and how to keep the process efficient, local and sustainable.
The couple took their talents to San Francisco and lived there for three years. Katie moved from butchery to pastries while in Charleston, and continued as a pastry chef for Chez Panisse in Berkeley, while Justin worked as the executive sous chef for Ame Restaurant in San Francisco before helping his executive chef, Greg, start nojo, a Japanese restaurant named after the Japanese word for farm.
“The years in California changed our whole thinking about food,” Justin says. “But on the other hand, it was really expensive. We decided we needed to do something more sustainable – go somewhere where we could live and raise a family.”
Katie is originally from Chapel Hill, and the couple took notice of the huge interest in organic and sustainable food in the area.
“But there’s no butcher shop,” Justin says. “There’s not even a place to buy fresh, local vegetables seven days a week. We’re looking to fill that gap in the market.”
The pair has been here just seven weeks now and are currently living with Katie’s sister in Carrboro until they can move into their house. But already they are making strides to get folks interested in their butcher and pastry shop. They are hosting several dinners this summer, as well as demonstrations at the farmers’ markets, to present their view of the importance of using whole animals and making every part count.
Their first dinner is this Thursday at 6pm at The King’s Daughters Inn, which will consist of local and seasonal ingredients sourced completely from Coon Rock Farm, including a whole pig that will be incorporated into each dish. Tickets for the dinner are $55, or $70 for dinner plus a four-course wine pairing.
Already have plans Thursday evening? No problem – Katie and Justin will host another four-course meal prepared with vegetables sourced from Four Leaf Farm, chickens from Sunset Farms and beer pairings from Mystery Brewing next Saturday at The Lodge on Pickard Mountain in Chapel Hill. For more info about current or future dinners, stay updated with their Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Katie and Justin are looking at spaces in the area for their brick-and-mortar.
“What we want Rose’s to be is an old school-style butcher shop, but more new age,” Justin says. “We’re only going to do whole animals so that when people come in to buy meat, they’ll have a better understanding of just what part of the animal they are eating.”
The couple plans to sell chicken, cows, pigs, lambs and charcuterie, as well as fruit-based pastries. They’ll bake their own signature bread and have three to four rotating sandwiches daily. During dinnertime they’ll sell prepared meals with a vegetable dish on the side. So far, they’ve looked at setting up shop either downtown, on Ninth Street, near Trinity Park or Watts-Hillandale, but are still searching and, Justin says, open to suggestions. Place your bids, folks!