Meridian Industrial

CORSELLO BUTCHERIA

10/10/2019 | Allison Litera

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Vincent Corsello never intended to open up a butcher shop. But the magic of Italian cooking took over and convinced him otherwise. Modeled after a traditional Italian butcheria, Corsello Butcheria has been serving up the freshest meats in western Massachusetts for over two and a half years.

Vincent and his wife Kasey lived in Rome, Italy for several years in the early 2000s looking for a lifestyle change (Kasey is a western Massachusetts native, while Vincent is originally from Indiana).

“In Italy, we found ourselves immersed in the culture,” says Kasey. Italian food markets are set up differently from the United States. Food is ultra-fresh (sometimes still moving) and there is a communal vibe where shoppers connect and converse with the food vendors. While living in Rome, Vincent and Kasey came across a woman at the market named Roberta. They were fascinated with how she was cutting up a chicken.

“She was filleting a chicken in a way I’d never seen before,” says Vincent. From then on, they continued to visit Roberta’s stand looking at cuts of meat. You could purchase the whole piece or a small cut. “Rabbit, lamb, chicken…. all were being cut and prepared as customers wanted them.”

“I could see the spark in Vincent’s eyes,” laughs Kasey. “Later, when we moved back to western Massachusetts [after living in Italy], we missed the fresh cut-to-order meats and the passion for food shared by Italians.” The “slow food” of Italy and the evoking of the senses at a traditional Italian market was hard to forget: the tastes, smells, sights, noises, and feeling of the freshest food one could find in the bustling markets.

“Around here, fresh, local meat is usually found in a freezer,” Vincent explains. “It just isn’t as delicious.” Vincent got a sausage maker the following Christmas after returning home and started making his own sausage using a recipe from their friends in Rome. From there, he began curing his own meats and experimenting with cuts.

When Vincent got laid off from his job the next year, it was do or die. He called his friends in Rome and asked them for advice and how to fuel his passions. They offered to let him live with them and train at their shop. Vincent leapt at the opportunity and spent over a month as an apprentice at a traditional Roman butcheria. How many people in western Massachusetts can say they were trained by traditional Italian butchers?

Corsello Manager Mark Kretchmar comes pretty close, bringing 28 years of butcher experience to the shop.

“Mark was the bones to help us solidify the shop when we first opened,” says Kasey.

“I like working here, it’s like family. It’s a more hometown feel,” says Mark. “We can be creative all while keeping traditional.” Vincent’s brother, Dominic Corsello, is also a butcher at the shop. For an interactive experience, customers can watch Mark, Vincent, and Dominic cutting fresh meats in the front corner of their store, visible from the sidewalk or inside the shop. The connection that Vincent and his employees make with customers is in true Italian spirit. They will take the time to chat and explain the process of making their meats.

“We love to make that connection with people,” Vincent says, “all while offering a connection to Italy. Food is such a vital part of life in Italy. We want them to feel like they are part of our family.” Customers who have experienced the Italian culture are transported back to Italy when they step into Corsello. And for those who have yet to travel to Europe, Kasey says their shop is “a way for us to provide the experience of Italy without having to go there.”

Corsello gets their meats from several local farms: Poplar Hill Farm in Whately, MA, The Porter Family Farm in Ashfield, MA, HillTown Grazers in Goshen, MA, and Misty Knoll Farms in New Haven, Vermont. They butcher the whole animal, leaving little waste.

“With the meat, we make dog food, smoke the bones for dogs, and make bone broth,” explains Kasey. “We do our best to respect the animal by using as much of it as we can.” They also smoke and cure their own meats in-house, like bacon and sausages, and create and cut their own deli meats like roast beef and ham. Sustainability is a big part of the business – using high-quality meat that was raised on a pasture. Plus, everything you purchase at Corsello is local: the bread for their sandwiches, which comes from Pan’e Dolcetti in Wilbraham; or the fresh local vegetables from Mountain View Farm in Easthampton, which are pickled or used in Corsello’s fresh soups, broths, sandwiches, or lasagnas.

“We are supporting local families and farms,” says Vincent. “Being part of the community is utilizing the resources that the community provides to you.”

For all you meat lovers, if you have yet to check out Corsello Butcheria in Easthampton, MA, get yourself there ASAP. You can thank us later.

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