Special Delivery | Meatme
Two guys pull up in an empty parking lot, parking side-by-side, they climb out of their cars and greet each other for the first time. The conversation is kept to a minimum because they have a deal to do. The man with the money inspects the goods, hands over the money and leaves with what he came for and the parking lot is empty once again.
That’s the picture Victor Straatman paints when talking about doing his first deal in Canada. The man he met in that parking lot in North Vancouver was not a drug dealer, he was a farmer who drove six hours to sell Victor Straatman his ethically-raised meat.
“It felt like a dodgy drug deal,” said Straatman, “I realized that I didn’t want to spend my Saturdays in parking lots in North Vancouver.”
Straatman had come to Vancouver by way of New Zealand, but he’s originally from the Netherlands, where getting high-quality meat didn’t require bringing his chequebook to a parking lot.
Straatman, who is an entrepreneur with a background in digital marketing, saw the need for a hub for ethically sourced meat where he could bridge the gap between farmer and consumer, so he created an online meat delivery service called Meatme.
He started simply, using one farmer, selling one cow at a time online. Interested people would place an order on the cuts they wanted and would have to wait for the whole cow to be spoken for before it was purchased and butchered, which took about two months from start to finish.
More importantly, Meatme has created a new opportunity for farmers.
“These farmers want to be off the grid and if they want to sell direct to the consumer they have to be involved in the whole process, but it’s a whole lot of work and not the work they like to do,” said Straatman.”That’s where we come in because they can focus on the farming and leave the sales and distribution to Meatme.”
We tried pork chops, chicken drums from, salmon and ground beef. The total came to $67, just over the minimum purchase of $65.
You can taste the grass from Empire Valley Ranch in the beef, the fish from Haida Wild was that kind of fresh and clean flavour that you only get from wild salmon. The drumsticks from Central Park Farm were some of the juiciest around and the word ‘succulent’ comes to mind when biting into a pork chop from Blue Sky Ranch.
The price is premium, but so is the product and sometimes the cost of convenience is priceless.
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