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Boucherie Lawrence: Sourcing protein differently in the Mile End (Published: Montreal Gazette)

Photo: Justin Tang

Photo: Justin Tang

MONTREAL – The giant windowed storefront of Boucherie Lawrence is situated on a stretch of the upper Main where high-end designer shops are lined up next to sparse art galleries and mid-century modern furniture stores. The row of window-facing counter stools in its well-designed, airy interior, with meat-specific wall art and a wide pine “merch table” populated with a carefully arranged display of silkscreened tote bags, small-batch organic stone-ground flour and bottles of craft canola and sunflower oils make it feel a bit like a high-end épicerie.

But when you enter the shop, a huge walk-in fridge full of hanging meat carcasses is visible through a glass door, and in the large tiled workspace, several butchers and associates are at work, cutting meat to order for customers from the primal cuts hanging in the cooler, or transforming leftover offal and scraps into value-adde d products like patés, terrines, sausages and charcuterie for sale from the display case.

It’s clear right away that there is real meat work going on here; the store’s good looks are merely a by-product of its owners’ esthetic interests.

Sefi Amir, one of the shop’s four co-owners, asserts that Boucherie Lawrence is “just a regular butcher shop,” and not a boutique or, worse, a gastronomic destination.

“We want to make this a populist business, we don’t want it to be expensive and inaccessible,” she says. “We want to promote the idea of better meat, but we don’t want it to only be for those who can afford it.”

Read Gazette story (p1) and B3 (p2) here.