Happy Valley Meat Company Connects Chefs to Sustainable Meat via the Slaughterhouse


When you think central Pennsylvania, beef cattle might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Lancaster county and Amish buggies, dairy farms and Penn State University are probably more likely.

But in fact, Pennsylvania produces some of the best beef in the country on its 12,000-plus farms, and it’s taken two twentysomethings from New Jersey to work out an ethical and efficient way to move that meat from the mainland onto our urban island. As Regina Schrambling writes:

Since October, Happy Valley has been buying about four head a week and having them carved to chef specs so that restaurants can avoid having to invest in a half or quarter animal and an on-staff butcher. The cuts — each labeled with the name of the farm on which it originated — is then second-day FedExed, which is more economical than trucking. Clients so far include Green Table in the Chelsea Market, Gemma in the East Village, Barn Joo in the Flatiron and a number of others in Brooklyn, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. (All within the 200-mile definition of “local.”)

You can read the full story, “Happy Valley Meat Company Brings New Life to the Old-Fashioned Beef Business,” on stands or online in our Eat Drink Local issue. You can also watch more Edible Films here.

A special thanks to Jay Young at Rising Spring Meat Company for opening his slaughterhouse and farmhouse to us.

Regina Schrambling

Regina Schrambling is a longtime food writer who left an editing job at the NYT to train at the New York Restaurant School, freelanced for magazines for 15 years, returned to the NYT for 46 months as deputy editor of the Dining section and then happily returned to freelancing. Her cat eats extremely well.

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