Two weeks ago at our Tesla event we invited celebrated local butcher Joshua Applestone to grill his insanely delicious hot dogs and sausages. Not a link was left by the end of the party, and we learned a great deal about the newly minted Applestone Meat Co., a butcher shop with a digital brain whose entrepreneurial ethos would impress even Tesla’s Elon Musk, and whose business plan echoes that of Seamless, Uber or Fresh Direct.
Josh and his wife Jessica are famously the founders of Fleisher’s Grass Fed & Organic Meats, in Kingston and Park Slope. They popularized the artisanal meat movement, reinvigorating the idea of a “butcher’s touch.” Now the Applestones have started a new venture that maintains the core values of local, sustainably raised meat, custom-cuts and house-made charcuterie while eliminating the storefront and delivering the product frozen to your home within a 90 mile range of Accord or making it available for pickup at any hour at 2 locations.
“People take for granted that they can get things for 24 hours. Retail is a bear… there’s a lot of moving parts, and we wanted to find the efficiencies,” says Jessica.
Their new headquarters is a state of the art USDA facility in Accord, which says Jessica, “is a giant cooler filled with fancy machines. Here they hand make a range of beef, lamb and pork products that that will delight any home chef, like Korean style short ribs, lamb and broccoli rabe sausages, dry-aged rib eyed steak, cheddar bratwurst, and spicy bacon hot dogs.
Thinking even more futuristically, Josh is installing “Meat-O-Mats” — which are exactly what they sound like — in their Accord and newly acquired Stone Ridge locations. He located a limited group of Italian made automat-esque refrigerated dispensaries that take credit cards. Originally designed for school cafeterias to make healthy lunches available, they will be re-tuned to serve the fresh meats. “We will have a big selection. You can come in 24/7 and get your burgers, hot dogs, steaks. If you order online, the machines will have your order in there.”
With only 2 employees, the Applestones are determined to be, well, lean, but aren’t looking to be impersonal. “People have a lot of questions when they order online, they’ll still call us to make sure they’re ordering the right thing or that we understand their order. They always have that personal connection and we enjoy it.” Lower overhead allows Applestone to sell highest quality meats to a broader customer base. “It is important for us to hit every market, particularly people who care about eating well.” For more, read this great interview, where Josh adds, We’re very lucky to be located in the Hudson Valley.
Other local purveyors at the event included:
Kingston Wine Company
Millhouse Brewery (Poughkeepsie)
Harvest Food Catering (Stone Ridge)
Jane’s Ice Cream (Kingston)
Tree Juice maple Syrup (Kerhonkson)
Hetta Glögg (Rhinecliff)