For the last seven years Porter Road has carved out a profitable niche selling small-batch meat to discerning shoppers in Nashville, Tennessee. Keen to start peddling its prime cuts of beef, pork and lamb to the rest of the country, the butcher opened an online store last month. Porter Road and an expanding list of upstarts are tapping into growing demand for meat that’s sustainably raised on family farms even as Americans open their minds and wallets to buying fresh food online. While a tiny part of the almost $55 billion U.S. meat industry, these companies are providing an alternative—albeit a pricey one—to the mass-produced steak, pork and chicken sold by giant agribusinesses like Perdue and Tyson. “What we're trying to do is bring fresh meat delivery service into the 21st century," says Porter Road co-founder James Peisker.
Meats and Poultry Just a Click Away
A new website from Porter Road, a chef-owned butcher shop in Nashville, sells meat from small farms, delivered fresh, nationally and within two days. James Peisker and Chris Carter opened their store in 2011 after having difficulty finding meat that satisfied them for their fledgling catering company. The meats and poultry are pasture-raised by farmers who do not use antibiotics or hormones on the animals. The Porter Road partners do their own butchering, dry-age meats for 14 days, and offer a range of cuts, though some are limited and wait-listed. Prices and shipping charges are moderate.