Earlier this year, we dubbed Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher in SanTana one of the “angels of our county” in our 2017 OC People issue — a person who makes us great, inspires us and someone to look out for.
Customers walk into Puglisi’s small, chilly shop, they see how food production should be. Puglisi’s workers are constantly breaking down whole pigs or slabs of beef and grinding sausage into natural casing. The day’s offerings are written on the window; a small freezer stocks everything from preserved yolks to heritage lard. There are no backrooms, no closed doors, no walls separating the public from the butchers.
If you’ve been by the shop lately, you’ll notice that Puglisi’s small chilly shop has expanded. During this transitionary period, ECB has launched a Kickstarter to fund the design, permitting, construction, equipment, and staffing costs. Puglisi says the expansion allows the shop to host more hands-on classes that teach about the benefits of whole animal butchery, a more humane and sustainable model for meat production. With more than 200 square feet of retail space (still a postage stamp, honestly), there’s now three new refrigerated cases, stools for seating, and more than 20 retail food items made in the store, including beer mustard, meat rub, other sauces, condiments and pickles, other locally made preserves, and fresh produce from Weiser Farms.
With the new space, ECB will also have a bone broth bar and frozen quarts of broth available for sale. Currently, ECB has a partnership with the non-profit MaxLove Project and donates a percentage of its broth sales to the children’s cancer organization.
The larger space also means that Electric City Butcher will start offering prepared foods, including sandwiches, hand pies and charcuterie platters. “The shop is still working out details for when these items will be available but keep an eye out for our signature roast beef and pastrami sandwiches, and Italian sausage and chorizo hand pies,” Puglisi says.