Red Table Meat Co., which has been supplying local and national restaurants, wine bars and cheese shops with artisanal salumi from heritage pigs raised in the Midwest for the past eight years, will close at the end of 2022.
But the Twin Cities’ charcuterie needs won’t go unmet.
Erik Sather, of Lowry Hill Meats, will take over the Red Table space in the Food Building, in northeast Minneapolis, where he will open a new meat processing operation.
Red Table founder Mike Phillips announced the closure Thursday on social media, citing high costs behind the labor-intensive product.
“Unfortunately, the cost of creating a high quality, very labor intensive product has become increasingly prohibitive as the price of labor has risen and the needs of retailers, staff and consumers have changed in the last few years,” Phillips wrote.
“We want to pay people what they deserve and still create a product that is very authentic and valuable,” he continued. “At the moment many retailers are telling us they can no longer afford the labor to have someone stand behind a counter and look after our product. The increased demand for sliced, packaged salami is something we’ve always fought for. reasons, but it seems we’ve come to a dead end.”
Red Table is one of the anchor businesses in the Kieran Folliard Food Building in northeast Minneapolis, along with Baker’s Field Flour & Bread and Alemar Cheese Co.
“Mike was instrumental” in creating the Food Building, Folliard said in a statement. “His raw talent as a chef and salumiere, work ethic, and standard to which he holds the quality of his products, farmers, and treatment of animals, has elevated all of us here at Food Building.”
Phillips began his adventure into cured meat craft at the long-defunct Chet’s Taverna and Craftsman restaurants. His reputation for making the best pate and introducing diners to the delights of pork rillette quickly spread. When he decided to leave the restaurant business, he delved deeply into the study of salumi making, traveling to Europe to learn from the best before coming home and launching the company that would become Red Table. At its height, the company shipped to some of the most acclaimed cheese shops in the country.
Phillips will assist with the transition to a whole animal butchery and processing company, overseen by Sather Lowry Hill Meats.
The new facility will produce raw cuts and finished products, such as cured salumi, and will process beef, lamb, goat and pork from local farms. The meat will be available for purchase in a new meat case at the Food Building market, as well as at restaurants and shops in the Twin Cities.
For now, Red Table products are still available in stores around the Twin Cities (find them at redtablemeatco.com) and at Kieran’s Kitchen & Market in the Food Building (117 14th Av. NE., Mpls ., 612-354-5093, foodbuilding.com).