From Banker to Butcher: Local Butcher’s shop manager Clarke Todd on banking, butchers and life with a bit more action

By on October 18, 2017

Just off of West Deloney in Jackson, a bit past the square, sits an unassumingly excellent shop known as Local Butcher.

It’s Monday morning, and head butcher and shop manager Clarke Todd is busy breaking down a Double R Ranch bone-in Ribeye for their fresh display of cuts. A cool fall sun shines through the front window as he slides his boning knife with ease along the seam of fat and bone, the rack of ribs separating cleanly from the meat under his knowing hands. 

Todd’s transition from banker to butcher is an interesting one. After working as a teller for Wells Fargo for a number of years, Todd decided he was tired of the mundane day-to-day work, and “needed more action” in his life. 

With a passion for cooking and a childhood of hunting and breaking down wild game, Todd’s transition to the Local Butcher felt seamless.    

While Todd and assistant butcher Chris Novak are the faces of the shop, the Local Butcher is an offshoot of executive chef pair Paul Wireman and Will Bradof, chef owners of the Local and Trio Restaurants. 

“They’re incredibly hands on,” says Todd, nodding his head. “You’ll find Will on the line at the Local during lunch any day.” 

It’s a team effort, and the flow between the Local’s kitchen and the butcher shop is fluid, sharing meat and sides between the two as needed.

With its glass displays lit from behind boasting a full menu of prepared sides and cuts of local meat and a chalkboard menu advertising house sandwiches, the deli feels like it could have been uprooted from the Northeast and plopped down in the center of Jackson. 

Perhaps that’s part of why after the opening in December of 2015, the small shop has become a favorite for locals and tourists alike. 

When the deli first opened, they depended on social media blasts to get the word out, Todd said. It was a matter of months before the word spread that Jackson finally had an artisanal butcher/deli shop. 

As a deli, they create excellent house sandwiches, and their Bahn Mi and Reuben are patron favorites.

The shop also offers to-go meals and daily soups prepared by behind the scenes by cook Katie House. 

Though the space is small and doesn’t offer seating, the specialty-shop atmosphere of Local Butcher makes the tight quarters a non-issue. 

Even better than their deli, though, is their butcher shop.  The display is filled with an array of cuts, from NY Strips to ribeyes (both bone in and out), all from local ranches such as Double R and Snake River.  They also show a number of house-made sausages, the Elk and Pheasant among the most popular. 

“Our most popular order is prime-rib with a side,” Todd said. “The bone-in ribeye is a close second.”

Weighing out between one to two pounds each, and pricing out at $16.99 a pound, it’s a real meat-lovers delight.

Their goods go far beyond their display, however, as the shop has access to all cuts of The Local’s steak, including their specialty cuts like the coffee rubbed bison. They also have access to fresh fish, and the racks are stocked with colorful displays of artisanal jams, relishes, sausages, and chips.

Their cheese selection is extensive too, and includes products from local goat-cheese producer Winter Winds Farms as well as curds from Wisconsin. 

“If you call in with at least a two day lead, we can get you whatever cut you’d like, as well as a number of different sausages, and whatever fish the restaurant is serving that week,” says Todd. 

This goes beyond proteins as well. If there’s a Local side you’re particularly fond of, such as their potato gratin, and would like to have for a dinner party, just give the folks over at Local Butcher two days notice and they’ll have you covered.

With the off season upon us, Todd said the shop hasn’t seen much of a change in their business, other than the typical Jackson shift from vacationers to locals. 

“All off-season business is locals,” he said. “Lots of regulars from Fire-Light Alley and other nearby businesses come in for sandwiches throughout the year.” 

A number of families call regularly to order catered sides and cuts as well for dinners. 

Still, the off-season does bring one big change to the butcher: Now that fall is upon us, the Butcher is closed Saturdays and Sundays. 

So, if you’re looking to host a weekend dinner party or are simply looking to make a special meal with great product, be sure to call ahead of time. Otherwise you may have to fake it, and with a shop this good, that could be a monumental task. PJH

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