We don't run a butcher shop. We make sausage, selling both wholesale and retail.
We order whole pigs - cut in half actually - as this is the cheapest way to get the most meat for the money in this part of the world.
No offal or organ meats.
Everything goes into the sausage that would normally be consumed by people. We sell a few byproducts wholesale, but we turn the pig into sausage from the oink to the tail.
Had a regular customer come in and ask if he could have a private class in sausage making. We have not had a class in a while, and though I need to hold one, he was pretty adamant about taking a one-on-one class, willing to pay well, and wanted to learn everything from receiving the pig to packaging the sausage. I agreed and he met me at 4am to receive delivery and start butchering.
The first hour went fine, and we cut up a couple of halves, grading the meat into lean, 80%, 60% and fat. This is a standard process for us and sausage batches are made from these graded bins.
Next on to cutting and weighing. I instructed him to get about 1.5kg from the lean bin and about .5kg fat and we would trim and weigh. This is how I generally handle a class, then I show they how to take a fatty shoulder and figure out how much extra fat to add. Pigs here tend to be pretty lean, so adding fat is required for literally every cut. I will actually buy fat once a month to supplement the meat since I cannot get enough fat from one pig to balance the meat.
He went to the lean bin, pulled out the loin and said, "You can't make sausage from that!"
I laughed, and said, "Sure we can. We do it every day."
"You don't understand," he replied, "this is too valuable to make sausage. You can sell this for more than you get for sausage by the kilo."
"Yes," I replied, "but then I took a big handful of 60% and said, "I cannot sell this for what I get for sausage by the kilo, so it balances out."
He was horrified
He started to pick though the lean bin and wanted me to sell his pile to him for the cost of sausage by the kilo... Of course I couldn't to that, but he was going crazy.... He didn't understand the way this worked, and was completely horrified that this was what I was putting in sausages
He always assumed that sausage was the "leftover" meat that no one would buy from a butcher, and not the prime cuts on a grain fed hog...
We sat and had a break and I explained the economics to him again, and he finally got it, but it was an interesting discussion.
His private class continued and he stayed and helped my staff the rest of the day - just for fun. I sent him home at the end of his volunteer day with some nice lean pork loin as well.
It was an eye opener for him, and made me think maybe I should open a butcher shop....but not for long. The wet markets here are very aggressive with pricing, and the two high end shops are struggling for business...
I don't run a butcher shop, I make sausages. The economics here mean it's cheaper by 1/2 for me to buy whole (halved) pigs and cut them up myself, rather than buy the lesser interesting cuts (shoulder, etc) and added fat.
Anyone else in this situation?