el Salchichero butcher shop opens in Santa Cruz with local handmade charcuterie

The long-awaited el Salchichero butcher shop, operated by Chris LaVeque, opened Saturday in Santa Cruz at Swift Street Courtyard.

LaVeque’s mission is to provide “the best meat products using locally sourced, humanely raised animals.” Selections on opening weekend included pork, beef, rabbit, goat, lamb, and sausage (such as sweet Italian, breakfast links, and merguez), and prices on average were $10-20/pound. el Salchichero uses pasture-raised animals from N-A Ranch, Devil’s Gulch Ranch, Gleason Ranch, Claravale Farm, and Ratay Ranch. You can find out what’s fresh each week at the el Salchichero web site.

LaVeque has spent the last eight months working on his butcher shop, making sure everything met his high standards before he opened. Before that, you could find LaVeque selling his handcrafted charcuterie and traditionally butchered meats to loyal fans at several Santa Cruz area Farmers Markets, and participating in local events like the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company’s Sausagefest. Now that the Westside Santa Cruz shop is open, el Salchichero is returning to the markets and will be selling products including sausages and bacon. Find el Salchichero at the Scotts Valley Market on Saturdays from 9am-1pm (beginning February 19) and at the Live Oak Market on Sundays from 9am-1pm (beginning February 20).

What can you expect from el Salchichero in the future? The company plans to provide both food and education regarding locally and sustainably raised animals, and will utilize recipes that rotate depending on seasonal availability (LaVeque only uses local farm ingredients). Current ingredients include fire-roasted and dried chilies and produce from organic Lindencroft Farm in Ben Lomond.

LaVeque’s background includes a degree from San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, an apprenticeship with Severino’s Community Butcher, an internship at renowned Los Gatos restaurant Manresa, and positions at local restaurants Cellar Door and Gabriella Cafe.

The Details

(831) 423-MEAT (6328)

402 Ingalls, Suite 5 (Swift Street Courtyard in Westside Santa Cruz)

Open 10am-7pm Tuesday-Sunday

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.