A small craft butchery operation in Saskatoon is changing the local pork palate. Saskatonian and chef Jordan Lohneis opened the Pig and Pantry last year in Saskatoon, supporting local and sustainable agriculture, and it has become a popular vendor at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.
Lohneis has worked in restaurants in Saskatoon and Vancouver before moving onto gigs at Michelin-starred spots in London, England. It was there, the way London chefs’ promoted and showcased their region’s high-quality produce and livestock, that inspired him to return home and do the same.
Lohneis landed the role of sous chef at Ayden Kitchen and Bar when it opened upon his return and helped develop the charcuterie program.
Whether it’s bacon, pork rinds, andouille sausage, or a thick cut chop from a purebred Berkshire pig, the products sold are made from the best livestock from the area’s small family farms that share his vision of sustainability and animal welfare.
From Persian sausage to Korean BBQ pork, to fine paté, the Pig and Pantry is introducing people to a new world of pork flavours.
What is a small craft butchery operation?
The short answer is that it's a little more than your standard cut-and-wrap. Think craft beer, but for meat.
A big part is also our commitment to source from small local farmers who use sustainable farming practices, such as pasture rotation and ensuring additional grains or feed are free from additives such as growth-promoting hormones.
We then add a chef's perspective to the butchery and make a wide range of products with worldly flavours. We lean towards using more traditional techniques, such as dry-curing our bacon. We forgo the addition of unnecessary binders and fillers in the sausages, while using loads of fresh herbs and quality whole spices.
All of these factors give us superior products and wholesome, honest food.
What does it mean to have consciously-sourced pork for the Pig and Pantry?
The quality of meat is directly related to what the animal eats and its living environment. We prefer to work with smaller farmers who have the ability to closely monitor the animals' access to fresh pasture and to balance their diet with the right amount of grains and legumes.
They are never confined indoors and are given a balanced, vegetarian diet without antibiotics. This enables the animals to live stress-free lives and grow naturally (which also usually means much slower).
What are the benefits of supporting a "nose-to-tail” philosophy?
The greatest benefit to the consumer of supporting a nose-to-tail philosophy is that you have access to a much larger variety of foods, without having to figure out what to do with the lesser known parts.
While we offer all the standard cuts, you can also enjoy a beautiful country pate or a deep, rich pork heart ragu, knowing you are playing a part in sustainable agriculture.
We all know that there is more than bacon and chops on a pig, but many people do not know what to do with the lesser known parts. We take care of that aspect. We are currently in the process of developing some blood sausages. It's amazing how most cultures have their own little unique varieties and how it's often eaten on special occasions.
Are there any plans to expand beyond the Saskatoon Farmers' Market?
The Farmers' Market has been a very good outlet for us to not only showcase our products, but to connect with our customers on what they want, need, and expect when it comes to the food they eat.
We are always looking at ways to reach more people, so there are of course plans to expand. Our products are currently only available at the farmers' market, but many people contact us directly by phone or email because they are looking for something specific and know we do just about anything when it comes to pork. Keep an eye on our social media pages for news and updates on Instagram.