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Creating a deli of delights
If his customers are as enthusiastic as butcher and artisan deli owner John Pabst is about freshly cured meats, then Pacific Pantry is bound to be a “go to” place in Sequim for local, natural meat and produce.
Pabst’s interest in butchery, a service mostly lost over the past generations, began about a decade ago when he worked in a South Carolina restaurant. He’s been a chef for five years.
“I’m fascinated with butchery because it’s something not many people do or do correctly,” Pabst said. “It’s really important for me to get animals raised properly and humanely because it makes a big difference in flavor. The public doesn’t have access to properly raised meats with no hormones or antibiotics. We are what we eat.”
In Europe and in large American cities, customers still go the local butcher to pick up their favorite cuts of raw and cured meats. Before the rise of supermarkets after World War II, a local butcher’s shop was just one of the daily stops of the American housewife.
Pabst is calling his venture an artisan deli/butchery where the 12-seat deli will have a menu of three hot and/or cold soups, three sandwiches and three salads that will change monthly. In the deli case there will be beef, pork, lamb “and probably even a little goat, plus smoked chicken breasts,” Pabst said. He also makes his own mustard and sauerkraut and will stock fermented vegetables by Sequim’s own Getting Cultured.
“I want to get as many local products as I can get in here,” Pabst said. After the animals from Clark Farms, Nash’s Organic Produce or Spring Rain in Chimacum are slaughtered by a USDA-approved slaughterhouse, Pabst will get halves or quarters of the animals and will cut and cure the meat with natural spices and no chemicals. People who buy half a hog from Nash’s or Clarks’ can have Pabst butcher it into their preferred cuts.
“Every country had their cured meats, so I’ll make salamis from all over Europe,” Pabst said. “It takes about two to 10 months to cure meat and I believe in not rushing the process so the flavoring really develops. When we open (April 1) I’ll have lots of fresh cured meats such as ham, pastrami, bacon and sausages like bratwurst and knockwurst.”
Deli case meats and cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend will be available by weight and Pabst hopes people will make it part of their weekly routine to swing by and get something for dinner or supper.
“I don’t want to limit it to a specific genre of food — I just want to have fun with it,” Pabst said. “There also will be some tarts, cheesecake and other pastry items. I grew up around baking. Within six months to a year I want to do a cut-and-wrap service.”
He also plans to offer brunch-type fare on Sundays.
Pabst is jumping in to be part of the community — he’ll feature a different local artist in the deli monthly and will be part of April 4’s First Friday Art Walk.
A subsidiary of Misty Mountain Meats
229 S. Sequim Ave., Sequim
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday;
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday