If you have a question about the meat you’re eating, there’s a good chance Brianna Hagell has the answer.
She’s the owner of Vessel Meats, a newly-opened stall at the Alderney Farmers’ Market, and she has a passion for good food from local sources.
Find out more about what makes Vessel Meats a welcome addition to our vibrant market.
What’s your background in food and in retail?
BH: I started working full time in food almost two years ago for Noggins at Alderney Landing. I had worked at the Saturday market for Noggins for a year before that. I really loved teaching people about the locally grown vegetables. It still amazes me what we can achieve/grow here in Nova Scotia with the help of technology (ie: growing technology not altered seeds etc)
Tell us a little about Vessel Meats.
BH: I started working in a butcher shop outside the city in the spring, where I began working with local farmers and learning about their animals and growing processes. I realized that although there are several other locally sourced butcher shops in HRM the consumer still has a lot of questions about meat, whether it’s locally raised or otherwise.
Working at the butcher shop gives me access to the best cuts and history of the meat I sell, as well as to a variety of animals and farms as grow seasons and availability change.
Why did you did you decide to set up shop in the Alderney Market?
BH: Selling meat at Alderney Market was a natural step for me as I have been working there for almost three years. I love the Alderney Market and I’ve had great support and interest from the Dartmouth community to bring meat and help spread information about local meat.
Why should people consider buying locally-raised meat?
There are so many reasons people should consider buying locally raised meat. Besides the taste, quality and freshness factors, its important to support local farmers because, as any business left unsupported, we will lose them.
A good example of this is the business going on with the turkey producers. If we don’t support these producers and processors now they won’t be able to survive in the future.
What’s your favourite cut of meat, and how do you prepare it?
BH: Right now, I’m cooking a lot of cuts from the sirloin. Its more economical then the high end cuts and good for slow cooking and braising for winter cooking.
Anything else you think people should know?
BH: I want people to start thinking in terms of whole animal eating. For example: you get about 20 lbs of bacon from a 200 lbs pig. For all of the bacon we consume where does the other 180 lbs of meat and tissue go? People need to start eating and cooking “outside the box” in order to help support the industry; which will give everyone easier access to locally grown meat.