Over the past 10 years, Slavic Village butcher shop Saucisson has grown from a farmer's market staple to one of the most notable butcher shops in the city, featured on the History Channel's The Butcher, Andrew Zimmern's The Zimmern List, Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay and in magazines from O Magazine to Food & Wine.
But after its 10-year anniversary celebration on Dec. 9, the Fleet Avenue shop will close both its storefront and its wholesale operation. In an Instagram post, owner and co-founder Melissa Khoury cited rising costs, personal issues and a lack of development around the store.
"Over the past year, I’ve struggled with some health issues, and while I am hopefully on the other side of those struggles, it didn’t come without a cost," writes Khoury. "Thankfully so many of you, the staff here, and plenty of friends in the community stepped up, showed up, and truly got me through the last year. But it was incredibly difficult to push through on top of everything else."
Started in December 2013, the shop was known for more than just Khoury and Penny Barend, the self-proclaimed "lady butchers" who founded it. In addition to inventive, whole-animal butchery, the space offered sausage-making class and a cafe atmosphere in its heyday. Moreover, the artisanal butcher shop became an anchor for the Slavic Village neighborhood — a sign of hope that one of the communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis in 2008 could rebound.
"Before some of you start attacking Slavic Village and our choice to open up here, please hear me loud and clear... THIS IS IN NO WAY BECAUSE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD," writes Khoury. "This neighborhood has been our home for the last 7 years, and we have made amazing connections with the community here. Thankfully, the positive energy that we helped bring to the neighborhood will continue, as there are exciting plans in place for the use of our space, as well as the rest of the historic building we helped revitalize, and we are proud to have been a part of this evolution. Leaving Slavic Village is by far the hardest part of this decision."
More recently, in 2021, co-founder Barend left the shop, first for Terrestrial Brewing Co. and then Phoenix, Arizona.
"A decade of hustling & accomplishing so much, I’m proud to have been a part of something so authentic & genuine, honest & real, transparent about where all the food comes from, talking about real farms, real food & real people," wrote Barend on the post. "Building connections in a neighborhood & community where everyone deserves to have a voice that is heard & fresh local food on their tables. Nothing but LOVE, PRIDE & RESPECT for Saucisson & You!"