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Proper British Bacon opens Port Orchard store
South Kitsap residents can now experience different kinds of meats thanks to a new specialty meat store that opened last month in Port Orchard.
Proper British Bacon, owned by Meri and Mike Blaisdell, is the first franchised store of the original business in Auburn, which was built in 2010.
Meri Blaisdell’s husband, Mike, became friends with Proper British Bacon owner Robin Halbert.
“Robin has been wanting to expand,” Blaisdell said. “Mike became a customer and they became friends. My husband, who owns an electrical company, talked Robin into opening a store here. And that’s how I got here.”
She said Robin asked her husband if he ever thought about starting a butcher shop and Mike said, “No.”
“We gave it a shot and it’s something we don’t have here,” Blaisdell said. “We looked here, Gig Harbor and Bremerton. This was the first site that met all of our needs.”
Previously, the location housed Emerald City Smoothies and a pizza parlor.
Halbert said the Port Orchard store is in a good location.
American bacon comes from the pig’s belly, while British bacon comes from the pork loin.
“It’s much leaner with much less fat,” Blaisdell said. “You cook it the same way with a little bit of butter to get it started because it will not create as much grease because of much less fat. It’s more towards the ham side than bacon.”
All the beef comes from Nebraska, but it is cut at the Port Orchard store. Halbert said he uses free-range natural pigs raised on a farm in Moses Lake, then they are slaughtered at an organic USDA processing plant in Basin City.
The store also produces a variety of fresh sausages for sale, along with
a large array of salami, ham, jerky, pork chops and even American-style bacon.
“We even make our own pepperoni and jerky,” she said.
The store also sells local and regional brands of steak sauces, pickles and other food items.
Halbert, whose business is starting its fifth year, has been in the food and beverage industry for more than 30 years.
“It’s been really good,” Halbert said. “Everyone said you can’t do a high-end specialty meat store in a declining recession period. We gave it a shot and we had good solid growth.
“Since we’ve opened we have had lots of repeat customers,” Blaisdell said. “We’ve been using word of month among our families and friends to get the word out about the store.”
Halbert said the store, because of county health permits, has a limited menu.
“There are only certain things we can manufacture here, but as we get more permits approved then more items will become available,” said Halbert. “Currently we can’t use our smoker, but we have to put one foot in front of the other.”
The store will hire two people — one being Blaisdell — to begin with.
“Meri has done a great job learning the business,” Halbert said. “For someone to come in with no butcher background and learn the industry takes a lot of hard work.”
The new store is located at 2386 SE Lund Ave., behind the Rite-Aid store. For more information, call 253-7-9-8294 or visit online at www.properbritshbacon.com.
The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more on the Auburn store, go to http://www.auburn-reporter.com/business/92924309.html.