Montello Meat Market: Next Best Thing to Buying from Your Local Farmer


I’ve been working on a cookbook, as I mentioned back when I was on hiatus, and I suddenly had a need for chicken breasts for a certain recipe, but didn’t have any chicken in the freezer. Since it was farmers market day, I first looked to see what my friends at Crane Dance Farm had, but they only had whole frozen chickens and I needed something thawed. Usually, I don’t hunt for chicken breasts because it’s nearly impossible to find happy ones unless they’re still on a chicken. Then I remembered Montello’s.

Several of my friends have told me that Montello Meat Market is now carrying grassfed meat. So I thought I’d stop by and see what they had, if they had happy chicken, and where they sourced their meats.

I was pleased to find out that all the beef in their butcher shop comes from Michigan, and the grassfed beef–without antibiotics or hormones–comes from a nearby farm called Dykstra’s.

The chicken, it turns out, is from Kapenga Farms, a local farm that I’ve heard of but haven’t had the opportunity to visit. When I asked if the chicken was pastured raised, I was told it was pasture-finished. I’m still not sure if this is the optimum choice, but I like what they say on their Local Harvest page: “Our chickens are free from antibiotics, hormones and steriods, and we never inject water and sodium into our processed birds. We also now use NON GMO soybean meal in our grain mix.” I’m looking forward to visiting their farm soon!

Montello’s has been providing grassfed beef since January, 2010. And many of their customers buy it. In addition to local and grassfed beef, plus the chicken from Kapenga’s, the pork, lamb, and veal they sell are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones.

We’re lucky to have good food choices in West Michigan–from local farmers with good ethics to farmers markets to co-ops to a meat market such as Montello’s.

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5 responses to “Montello Meat Market: Next Best Thing to Buying from Your Local Farmer

  1. Very cool for you and that it’s locally sourced too. We have a meat market not too farm from where I live called Sam’s Meat Warehouse, their phone number? 555-MEAT! I’m hoping they’ll some day carry grassfed beef. I’ve had their grain fed filet mignon and some other cuts and they were always delicious. Sure would be great to have the choices you have. I’ll have to make a request the next time I stop in.

    • Leesie, I think the more people who request grassfed–and especially humanely treated–meat, the better. Please ask for this from your local meat market to get the message circulating that we care about what we eat!
      Thanks for visiting! I appreciate your loyalty!

  2. Thanks for the info Marcia. We raised two pigs this year at our house, and we had Earl’s Meats come out and butcher them for us. I guess the thing I’m less savvy about is where the food comes from that I’m actually feeding the pigs. I bought it from Vriesland Co-Op, so the ingredients were locally grown, but I don’t know if the local farmers are growing crops in a sustainable way or not. I would like to think so, but I don’t know for sure.

    Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the great work.

    -Chad Boss

    • Chad, it’s likely that the co-op is using GMO foods. Even though they’re grown locally, most of the crops in the U.S. are grown from seeds provided by Monsanto, Cargill, and other large producers. It’s the conundrum we face in this country. I would encourage you to ask at the co-op about the food: what’s in it, who the specific farmers are, and where the seeds come from. You have a right to know! I don’t know that there’s a whole lot you can do about it–similar to many of the conundrums in our own food supply–but I think it’s good to ask. It shows that people care and it makes the co-op–and farmers–accountable.

      I think that pigs eat just about anything, right? So maybe you could supplement their food with your own organically raised or purchased produce to balance out anything questionable from the co-op.

      It’s great you raised your own pigs! Do you have a freezer big enough for all the meat?
      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. Pingback: un poulet | Freshly French Pressed

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