Last weekend, Ashland Meat Company opened its doors at Cross Brothers Grocery on South Railroad Avenue. The store will offer fresh local food, including a full-service butcher, a carryout deli menu, and a host of locally-produced pantry items. The Grand Opening weekend brought hundreds of customers from near and far to tour the historic building and sample its new menu.
Ashland Meat Company is the brainchild of two local farmers, Chris Stem and Bruce Johnson, partnered with three local businessmen, Vernon Inge, Val Ribeiro, and Emilio Peiro. It brings together the best of Ashland’s community spirit.
Stem’s farm, Harlow Ridge Farm in Montpelier, and Johnson’s farm, Dragonfly Farms of Louisa, supply pork, beef, and lamb for the butcher shop. The store offers fresh produce from nearby farms, in addition to provisions from local food companies. Gift items, such as handmade soaps and locally-grown flowers round out the offerings.
The project is only possible with support of Inge, Riberio, and Peiro, who purchased the historic Cross Brothers Grocery in 2017 in an effort to save an Ashland landmark and anchor business. The trio have partnered with Ashland Meat Company to recreate a locally vibrant grocery business in the historic space, while also meeting demands of modern shoppers.
Perhaps the most savvy business decision in the new Ashland Meat Company is the strong team of staff who will keep the store running day-to-day. Long-time butcher of Cross Brothers Grocery, Lloyd Perkins, serve the store with his expertise daily. Local foods enthusiast Jessica Bruce will serve as the store manager. The strong team understands the value of Cross Brothers Grocery to our town.
Ashland Meat Company’s Grand Opening was a success and we hope to see it continue. This ambitious project brings together the best of Ashland and nearby areas to offer customers a service worthy of the Cross Brothers Grocery tradition.