Good things come to those who wait.
If anyone has lived and breathed this saying, it’s Jered Standing. I met the former Bel Campo butcher in June 2016, at which point he was fairly sure he’d be behind his own butcher case within months. Almost a year and a half later, Standing has finally done it, debuting his eponymous shop on Melrose Avenue near La Brea this past weekend.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business, to be my own boss,” Standing told me last year. “I have a specific way I think things should be.”
Being a zero-waste store is of the utmost importance to the butcher. That means that nothing gets disposed of under Standing’s watch — if a piece of meat can’t be sold as a cut in the butcher case, it’ll end up in a ground mix or in raw dog food. Even bones don’t get tossed out, as the shop has partnered with local company Brothee to produce, package and sell co-branded stock made with the bones of the animals Standing buys.
“No one else in L.A. is committed to buying only whole animals, because it’s difficult,” Standing told me on a tour of the store. “Pre-opening, my team and I spent an entire day around the trash can talking about why nothing goes in there.”
Another business tenet for Standing: Support local farmers who raise their animals in an environmentally conscious manner. Over his many years in his industry — a few of which he spent as a vegetarian, as he came to see industrialized meat production as an “ugly system” — Standing built relationships with some of California’s best-known growers. That includes Stemple Creek, a small organic farm in Marin County, which is the shop’s primary source of beef and lamb. Run by the Poncia family since 1902, the farm is home to free-ranging cows that are raised for 22 to 28 months — markedly longer than those on industrial farms. Chickens come from Pasturebird, a farm in Murrieta, where chickens live outside and in the pasture all day, every day. Pigs will come from Cook Pigs Ranch of Julian and Devil’s Gulch Ranch, also in Marin County.
“This is the best way to support small farmers, who are under incredible pressure to change their process,” Standing said. “I would hate for just the economics to force these farmers to change what they’re doing. If I can help them, I’d like to. So you get transparency and traceability with us. You’re one connection away from the farmer.”
In addition to transparency, Standing and his team intend to win customers over with hospitality. Want tips on how to best prepare bistecca alla Fiorentina? Standing will coach you on how to reverse sear it. Need to change up your pork chop recipe? Talk to Jose Rivera, another ex–Bel Campo butcher bringing his skills to Standing’s. The team also is making chimichurri sauce and compound butters blended with herbs — some of Standing’s preferred accoutrements.
“I want to create an environment that I would go shop in myself,” Standing said, “and I want people to ask an expert. I love cheese and wine, but I don’t want to go do homework on them — I want to trust my cheese person and my wine person. That’s division of labor; someone else has done that work. So tell your butcher what you like, or what your meal plan is, then let him or her help you.”
7016 Melrose Ave., Mid-City; (323) 413-2212, standingsbutchery.com.