Buying meat locally is one of the best ways to stimulate the local economy and get a cut of meat that is guaranteed to have been raised ethically and naturally, without the use of growth hormones or additives.
“With beef, I source it from people where it has the fewest amount of stops. So it goes farm, abattoir, and then Herrington’s,” said Brent Herrington, owner of Herrington’s Quality Butchers. “Whereas a lot of other places sometimes have many different stops. There can be as many as 30 different stops, and obviously the more processed something is, the more stops it’s going to have.”
Brent has built a strong relationship with the farmers in this area and sources almost all of his meat from local farms. Apart from the seafood section at Herrington’s, everything else comes from Port Perry and surrounding areas.
“I know who raises what and how they raise it. I know what to look for as far as warning signs as to what not to buy and so on,” Brent said. “I purchase products I have great faith in. And [the farmers] know I have high standards so they won’t want to send me something that isn’t up to par.”
A great deal of care and dedication go into making Herrington’s meat, or any locally sourced meat of the highest quality.
“What a lot of people need to understand is that particular piece of steak for example took three years to make. It took a lot of loving care from people to produce the animal, raise it humanely and ethically,” Brent said. “A lot of people need to understand it takes time. A lot of time, a lot of care, and a lot of dedication from a lot of different people to make the meat just that good.”
Brent prides his butchery on their quality products. He says they try to keep their products as raw and natural as possible.
For example, all the chicken at Herrington’s is air-chilled instead of water-chilled. Water-chilled chicken accounts for the vast majority of chicken in Canada and is the cheapest option. It involves cooling the chicken in a tub of ice cold chlorinated water. Whereas air-chilled chicken is cooled down with cold air in a series of refrigerated chambers over an extended period of time.
Air chilled chicken taste better and doesn’t hold any of the water that water-chilled chicken does.
“A [water-chilled] chicken in particular will pick up 30 per cent of its own weight in water,” Brent said. “So if you purchase [a chicken] and you’re getting a great deal but a third of it is water, that’s not such a great deal.”
Apart from priding themselves in quality meat, Herrington’s has quality customer service and is always willing to give advice on how to prepare the meat being purchased.
“We love talking to customers, engaging them, helping them to get educated. Because an educated consumer is a happy consumer,” Brent said.
Herrington’s is located downtown Port Perry on 251 Queen Street. Brent encourages anyone looking for a quality cut of meat to come on in and see what they have. He is always happy to discuss his products and help sort out the best cut of meat to suit his customer’s needs.
The store is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturday, the store is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays it’s open until 4 p.m.