What: Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe
Where: 3336 Tejon Street, Denver Colorado
Pro: Western Daughters provides a high quality selection of responsibly raised local meats. This along with their neighborhood vibe and incredibly friendly service makes it a must visit.
Con: With odd hours and a smaller selection, a Western Daughter’s visit requires planning. I recommend following them on Instagram (@westernbutchers) because co-owner, Kate Kavanaugh, is a professional food photographer and she is constantly posting gorgeously crafted updates of their current selection as well as their sandwich specials (which look to die for).
For co-owners and soon to be newly weds, Kate Kavanuagh and Josh Curtiss, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe is a product of love and sacrifice. Before they met, the duo lived completely alternate lives. Kavanaugh, a young energetic redhead, was a vegetarian, whereas Curtiss used to work as a master woodworker. Now they are primarily butchers. Why?
“It was time for a change for me” Curtiss explained “ But I’ve always been a home cook. I grew up helping my mom cook all kinds of things from all over the place. It was kind of a natural transition. I used to put things together and now I take them apart”.
The couple continued to explain why they chose this new path. However as they went on it was obvious that their past identities were still represented in the shop. First, WD is covered with Curtiss’ stunning craftsmanship. From the massive oak butcher’s counter to the dark exposed wooden beams, everything in this small cozy store has an artisanal touch to it. Clearly Curtiss spent many hours perfecting this beautiful space.
On the other hand, when Kavanaugh discussed her philosophy behind their meat selection, it was clear that even though she was no longer a vegetarian a lot of her similar values stayed the same. With every cut she removed from the case, she explained where the animal lived and how it was treated.
“These pigs were raised outside at Cottonwood Creek Farms. That is a big deal because it’s really not common” she beamed as she pointed to a pair of tasty looking pork chops. “We source meat from only 250 miles away… We visit all the ranchers and we like to work really closely with them. I castrated some of Matt’s [Cottonwood Creek] piglets.”
“It became really apparent that this place is a whole lot more than a butcher shop….it is an accumulation of these two people’s lives and a pure representation of themselves”
Clearly Kavanuagh and Curtiss are very hands on. After spending little time talking to them it became really apparent that this place is a whole lot more than a butcher shop. Rather, this sweet little store on a sunny little corner in the Highlands is an accumulation of these two people’s lives and a pure representation of themselves. Make sure to go check them out and support a great local business. They sell everything they can get from the eastern side of our state. From your standard steaks to beef hearts, this little store can provide you with the best. Kavanaugh will spend as much time as you need to walk you through choosing a cut, cooking a cut and serving a cut. They’ll both make sure that you don’t leave the place without a good cut of meat and a little knowledge about it too.
All photography by Brittany Werges