Brandon and Lauren Sheard – Husband and Wife; Owners and Operators. Brandon and Lauren met in the spring of 2007 in southern California while finishing up their graduate degrees; Brandon in Renaissance English Literature, Lauren in Religion and Theology. They dated that summer and fall, turning each other on to Kierkegaard and John Milton, and by Christmas of that year, were engaged. On the very date of their engagement they were introduced to a home-building project on Vashon, where Brandon’s parents live, and made the move to the Island the following February. They were married June of 2008, when Brandon simultaneously left his job at Whole Foods in the supplement department, in search of more rural work closer to home.
A month later, Brandon was hired by Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island. There he was introduced to the arts of small scale animal husbandry, abattoir, butchery and charcuterie and worked there from August 2008-August 2010. After one year on the farm and managing markets, Brandon transitioned to la Boucherie, their restaurant and butcher shop, as head butcher and charcutier. While pregnant with their first child, Lauren helped Brandon in the shop by wrapping meat late into the night before market days, reading various culinary books on the shelves and taste testing recipes (and house made wine) at mid- work day lunches.
As their family expanded, in the fall of 2010 Lauren and Brandon created Farmstead Meatsmith. They work well as a team; Brandon on the front lines of farmers’ fields, butcher blocks and home larders, and Lauren as the accountant, scheduler and professional washer of greasy cutting boards. They both, however, are visionaries for the business and, above all, love witnessing good food bring people together.
Wallace Dietrich Allen Sheard, 2 years in training – Eldest Jr. Meatsmith. Wallace spends his days eating the apples and berries of hosting farms while his parents harvest the animals. He’s an expert at chasing chickens, feeding lambs and petting piglets. He helps his parents by playing with their tools and asking to help sharpen Daddy’s knives with him. For now, he’s usually happy manning the butter spreader.
John Luke Benedict Sheard, 3 months in training – Youngest Jr. Meatsmith. John Luke has yet to define his role, but currently he sleeps and hangs out with Mommy a lot. He loves to eat however, and this gives us hope for the passion he too may have one day in growing and preparing food for the family table.
Andrew Plotsky – Household baker, Meatsmith in training. Part intern, part media professional, Andrew has been running from farm to farm across the country, documenting the sustainable ag movement and its various local manifestations. As we build our business, he is also building Farmrun, his uniquely conscientious multimedia production service bent on helping those in the farming world with their media and online presence. While Andrew learns the art of traditional animal processing with us he’s also helping to document our business through artistic film, photos and the written word. Perhaps you’ve seen his work in Blood Sausage, Mercilous Feast or the video testimonial documenting our abundant harvest of 7 east asian heritage pigs on Kim’s and Aaron’s farm, Moon Valley Organics. We are very grateful for Andrew’s contribution to Farmstead Meatsmith. If any of you farmers or agriculturally-minded followers of Meatsmith need marketing or other media-related promotion, we wholeheartedly recommend Farmrun.
*****‘Sowse us therefore, in the Powdering- Tub of thy Mercy, that we may be Tripes fit for the Heavenly Table.’