Alcoa butcher shop embraces local farmers

11:57 PM, Dec 10, 2012   |    comments
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An East Tennessee butcher will soon open a store he says you will not be able to find anywhere else in East Tennessee.

Shawn Banks, an Alcoa butcher and chef, will open "The Local" in Alcoa at 346 S. Calderwood. The store will sell all-natural meat from farmers who raise livestock within roughly 100 miles of Alcoa.

Banks said he got the idea for the store after visiting a similar successful Nashville business.

"We're going to be just the old school butcher shop," he said.

More Information: "The Local" Facebook Page

Banks said East Tennesseans want more local options where they know the food for sale is safe. He said the farmers that will contribute to his store, one of whom is from Greenback, raise their animals off grass and grains.

"Ground beef can come from any number of sources," he said. "We've heard way too many stories of salmonella disease."

The store is joining the growing movement centered around local food. Slow Food Knoxville, a movement that also embraces local farmers, said it is important to put money back into the local economy.

More Information: Slow Food Knoxville 

At a potluck Monday, Slow Food Knoxville member Lauren Smith, also said she believes the practice helps the environment.

"When you look at your total food miles, if you're getting organic produce shipped in from California, your fossil fuel output on that is pretty large," Smith said.

Banks said his store also shares some of the practices of the Slow Food Movement. If you're interested in going to Banks' new store, its soft-launch will be January 15.

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