Heath Putnam Farms sells a lot of Mangalitsa to the Besh Restaurant Group. As previously mentioned on this blog, they've bought live pigs, to fatten themselves. They've bought the hams from Johnston County Hams. They buy roughly a pallet of pork a month, direct from our processor (euphemism for "slaughterhouse").
I deal mostly with Erick Loos, the chef of La Provence, where they've got their Mangalitsa pigs out back.
It blows my mind that these are the only guys who buy their meat this way, and not another restaurant group (e.g. one in New York, Los Angeles or Las Vegas), that could likewise buy in size). Somehow, they not only have the volume, but the desire for top quality meat, the willingness to work a little harder and the brains required to save money.
By buying this way, they probably save at least 30% of what they'd pay if they involved a meat distributor. Not all that the 30% is pure waste; distributors have to spend resources receiving, storing, taking orders and delivering stuff. By being more organized, smart and diligent, Besh Restaurant group saves money.
I like dealing with these guys because they are committed to our product - obviously, since they've got our live pigs out back of La Provence.
They do a great job selling our stuff to their guests - and best of all - they use our stuff in all of their New Orleans restaurants.
In one recent review, a diner characterized Restaurant August with the phrase, "Mangalitsa pork." That's great. A lot of people like that restaurant. I'm happy to be associated with it.