Cut Above the Rest
Austin farmers market vendor opens whole-animal butcher shop in San Marcos
Don't want to wait until the next farmers market to snag local meat? Three Six General, a popular vendor at Texas Farmers' Market and Barton Creek Farmers Market, is opening a brick-and-mortar butcher shop and general store in San Marcos later this week.
The new shop, located at 1904 Old Ranch Road 12, showcases the whole-animal butchery for which owners Mattison Bills and Denny Dinsmore are known, along with cured and smoked meats. Patrons can choose from an ever-rotating menu of beef, pork, and chicken, along with six different kinds of house-made sausages.
Along with the butcher shop, patrons can also snag dry-cured charcuterie, artisan cheeses, smoked chicken salad, pimento cheese, seasonal pickles, seasonal ferments, and seasonal vegetables.
Bills says the shop will also have barbecue on Saturdays. Customers can try out the 'cue for themselves during the shop's special opening celebration on Saturday, September 5, from 10 am to 8 pm. Partygoers can enjoy bites from the new store and free Roughhouse Brewery beer tastings from 1-4 pm.
Of course, opening amid a pandemic comes with its own set of challenges — additional safety precautions chief among them — but Bills says it was the pandemic that ultimately led to Three Six General's new brick-and-mortar store.
"The pandemic is what ultimately pushed us to open," says Bills. "We needed to expand our wholesale to make up for our accounts that were temporarily shut down, such as Roughhouse Brewing and Pearl Farmers Market."
As the company's wholesale accounts picked up, so did the need for space. "The new expansion warranted more storage space, and once we found the space, we decided to add the butcher shop," she explains.
The pair also decided to set down roots in San Marcos, bypassing bigger cities like San Antonio and Bills' native Austin. When a space opened up on Old Ranch Road 12, Bills and Dinsmore snapped it up.
"I live in San Marcos and was already producing here for seven area farmers markets," says Bills. "It’s still affordable where we’re located and we know that San Marcos really needed more accessible local food."
It also provides quick access to the Capital City, where Bills says Three Six General will continue to participate in area markets. In fact, she adds, the company may even add more markets to their already heavy rotation.
Until then, patrons can get their fix at the butcher shop, which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am-8 pm.