Spotlight on J’amy Owens of Bill the Butcher
By Janette Turner
“Bill the Butcher is all run by women,” said J’amy Owens, CEO of the meat shop set to “soft open” in Edmonds on Jan. 20. Owens wrote the business plan in 2006 and is about to open her fifth store, although that shop has taken longer than expected to make its first sale.
“We paid rent for two years,” said Owens today during a break from preparing the shop. “Two years – that’s how much we care about opening in Edmonds.” With new refinancing and the final bit of improvements, the company is about to sell grass-fed beef from the “butcher altar,” alongside a sandwich station with meat sliced-to-order in front of the customer. The sandwiches will be “Carnegie Deli and Zabar’s” level, said Owens, whose favorite item in the shop will be a “good rib eye that is grass fed and grass finished.”
Grass finishing is important because “all cattle are grass fed,” said Owens, “until they’re not. When they go to the feedlot, those other cattle get genetically modified corn to gain 3 pounds a day. While all our cattle are fed grass all their life, and there are no antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides. If you want that, you can eat meat from Safeway.”
The shop will offer beef, poultry, lamb, pork, shop-made sausages, pastrami, smoked turkey and artisanal waters from around the world. Oh, and that point at the beginning that Bill the Butcher is run by women – well, get ready for a female butcher. We don’t know her name yet, but maybe she’ll let you call her Bill.