by Murrey Nelson
Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller met at the Culinary Institute of American in 1996. Following graduation, they went to Italy to train with master Tuscan butcher, Dario Ceccini, and it was there that The Fatted Calf was born. The business opened in Dogpatch in 2006, making products for farmers markets, but moved to the Oxbow Market in Napa in 2008. Wishing to come back to San Francisco, the husband and wife team were scouting locations, when their friend Loring Sagan, of Sagan Piechota Architecture in Hayes Valley, alerted them to the availability of a space on Fell Street. They knew instantly that 320 Fell Street was right for the type of specialty retail operation they were seeking.
The shop, which opened on September 21, 2010, focuses on local, sustainable products – many from purveyors who became friends over the years – combined with high-end specialty imports from Italy. All of the meat is hormone and antibiotic free and grass-fed. While the Napa store boasts the production kitchen, where most of the curing, brining and smoking of the meat occurs, and special classes are conducted, the San Francisco store hosts a unique Pork Happy Hour every Wednesday night, at which shoppers enjoy free wine and beer and tasty treats. The owners will make custom cuts of meat for shoppers to take home that night for dinner. Store manager Jess McNinch reports that business has been fantastic since they opened and that the neighbors and everyone who has come in, has been extremely welcoming and enthusiastic. So, if you’re looking for that holiday ham, turkey, quail or duck liver mousse, this is the place!