Conscientious carnivores, rejoice! Fleisher’s Meats, the Kingston, New York, butcher shop synonymous with high-quality grass-fed/local/organic meats, will open a shop in Park Slope, likely on September 1. “We’re really excited,” says Jessica Applestone, who with her husband, Josh, opened Fleisher’s in 2004. “We’ve wanted to be in Park Slope for a long time — we feel like it’s our people, people who really care about what they eat and where they live. It’s got a really old-world feel — people still shop the way that people who are our customers in Kingston shop: They come every week and every day. It’s perfect for us.”
The Park Slope Fleisher’s will be located at 195 Fifth Avenue, right across the street from Bierkraft. The Applestones found the storefront about six weeks ago, when, Jessica says, “Josh and I were walking down the street merely by happenstance and he saw this space” — a former clothing boutique — “and called immediately.” The real estate agent happened to be one of their customers, and the landlord, Applestone says, “was thrilled. The stars just lined right up.”
The couple have already hired a manager to run the store; Applestone declines to name him but does allow that he’s “coming from the New York food industry” and has trained with them in the past. He’ll be overseeing a shop that will offer the exact same products as the original Fleisher’s, six days a week (it will be closed on Mondays). The only difference, Applestone says, is that due to space constraints, they won’t be doing major cutting — that will take place upstate. The store will get its meat delivered daily from its upstate sibling, which means that “if you come in and don’t have something we want, we can get it from Kingston.”
There will also be a bike-delivery service for the neighborhood, as well as greater Brooklyn delivery three times a week and once-a-week delivery throughout New York, Queens, Westchester, and the Bronx. And the upstate store will continue to supply wholesale meat to restaurants throughout the city.
And not so incidentally, given that this is Park Slope, the store — which Applestone says will “look like it’s been in the neighborhood for 100 years” — will have a children’s corner that will give parents a chance to shop without interruption from their kids. “I have a three-year-old so I know what it’s like,” Applestone says, adding that there will also be stroller parking. “We know exactly who our demographic is.”
The Applestones will be a semi-regular presence in Park Slope: They’ll be living in the neighborhood part-time, right around the block from their store. “I’m so excited to live near a playground where my son can ride a bicycle,” Applestone enthuses. “We really live in the country — the poor child doesn’t have a sidewalk. I think he’s going to be getting the best of both worlds”
And so far, the couple — who have both lived in New York before — have been spared all of the anxiety that first-time New York storefront owners typically confront. “We’re not yet overwhelmed,” Applestone says. “It’s such a model of exactly what we’re doing [in Kingston] already. If we were expanding in a different way, then absolutely. But this is a mirror of what we already do, in a good way.”
[HT to @goodappetite for spotting the announcement on the Fleisher’s site]
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 24, 2011