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Carne: New location, spirit for local butcher shop

Dec 8th, 2017 | Category: Community

by Brent Cole

Four years after bringing a butcher shop to Bellingham, Carne has gone through its fair share of changes, now operating at a new location under one owner.

Focused on serving Northwest meats and products, Carne started looking for a new home in 2015 when owner Shaun Almassy and former business partner Chad Johnson realized they needed to expand and be in a more open location. “We had our names in the bucket in many locations but nothing seemed to work out… A lot of landlords were a little skeptical of our dreams,” Almassy said of the long process of seeking out different options.

Owner Shaun Almassy wraps orders at Carne, 1205 Washington Street in Bellingham. PHOTOS BY DAVID JOHNSON

Owner Shaun Almassy wraps orders at Carne, 1205 Washington Street in Bellingham. PHOTOS BY DAVID JOHNSON

At one point, the business partners looked into the former Bean Blossom/Supreme Bean location on Broadway – once a gas station – but pulled back due to environmental concerns. A year later, the building was sold, some hurdles were cleared, and the new owner put it up for lease. Carne had found its new location and received the keys in early July 2017. For a month, the two worked tirelessly to get the new location up – Johnson running the old location while Almassy worked to make the new spot move-in ready.

As Carne moved into their new location, the duo’s operation also changed, with Almassy taking over as the owner.

“It’s been incredible to see the response – It’s been everything I had hoped it could be – it’s been more successful than I dreamed it could be,” Almassy said of the new store.

He added, “I attribute it to location, location, location. I know now location is the single most important factor in brick and mortar. We had no idea what we were missing out on. Even in the age of Amazon – people will still drive by, see a sign and still go check it out.”

While the location has been fantastic, Almassy noted the partnership change has made for some challenges, including delaying  some of the services he wanted to provide. He sees them as goals for 2018 – utilizing the drive through at the location, offering smoked meats and a lunch menu, seafood, and making it an overall one-stop shopping experience. carne meat order web

“All those things are still in my plan,” he said, adding a full-time sales associate has been hired. “The goal is to build out a proper kitchen, a smokehouse and to really pursue a lunch menu in 2018. Seafood is at the top of my list… There’s a huge need ever since Vis closed down.”carne sign web

The business now offers a lunch option on Wednesdays, with BLTs on their menu, and the welcomed addition of the Streat Food trailer  in the parking lot. “There aren’t many food opportunities in this neighborhood. There’s a surprising number of people that work in the neighborhood – from the school district office to the fire department across the street. It’s the perfect opportunity for a food truck to get a four-hour lunch service in.”

Carne carries beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, chicken as well as eggs, cheese and other grocery type items. “All of our meat is from northwest ranchers and it’s always raised on pasture without hormones or antibiotics,” Almassy said, adding, “Any cut from any of those animals can be ordered.”

The business makes their own sausages, both loose and linked. The poultry comes from Oak Meadow Farms in Ferndale, and the rabbit is through Valley Rabbit in Acme.

As Almassy readies for the hectic holiday season and what’s ahead in the new year, he’s thankful for his customers. “I really want to thank my customers for their loyalty and patience through this process.”

Carne is located at 1205 Washington St. in Bellingham and is open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, follow their Facebook page, see or call (360) 647-8686.


Published in Grow Northwest, December 2017


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