The Omnivore: Barbara Fisher, Proprietor of Barb’s Butchery

By Jen Murphy / Photography By Jennifer May | May 15, 2017
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Owner of Barb's Butchery hard at work in the meat cooler.
Fisher says it's all about precision behind the butcher's counter.

Playing with meat might seem like an odd career choice for a former vegetarian, but Barb Fisher says it was the food industry, not meat, that had grossed her out.

“I got into running and my body craved meat. I finally caved, ordered a prime rib and never looked back,” she says.

The newfound carnivore and mother of two began buying sides of beef from upstate and realized other people might want access to grass-fed, grass-finished, humanely raised meat. She quit her job as a college math instructor; spent 18 months apprenticing with Mark Elia, owner of Hudson Sausage Company in Highland; and in December 2014 opened Barb’s Butchery in Beacon.

Her dedication to working with the best small farms, including Meiller in Pine Plains and Dashing Star in Millerton, quickly earned her a devout following. Fisher holds her own in the male-dominated field, but admits she did have to join CrossFit to keep up with the physical demands of moving hog halves and grinding 250 pounds of sausage a week.

“People think butchering is about knives and blood,” she says. “It’s really about precision. My inner math and science nerd found its calling.”

BARB’S BUTCHERY | 69 Spring St., Beacon 

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