Meat and Greet with Butcher Geoff Pinch

Meat and Greet with Butcher Geoff Pinch

Specialty meats are perfect for holiday entertaining

  • Dec. 10, 2018 9:35 a.m.

– Story by Angela Cowan

Butcher Geoff Pinch with sausage in a meat cooler at his Four Quarters Meats shop in Sidney. Don Denton photography

Just across the highway into West Sidney is a hidden gem that is a must-stop for any carnivore with an abiding love of succulent bacon, locally raised ham, smoked sausages or salamis, all made with utmost care in traditional European fashion.

Four Quarters Meats, at 205-2031 Malaview Avenue West, owned and operated by Geoff Pinch, is both a wholesaler and retailer, supplying an array of restaurants, catering companies and specialty shops throughout the Peninsula and the entire Victoria area.

“More and more throughout the industry, people are appreciating the artisanal quality,” says Geoff, and his selection of products certainly reflects that.

The shelves at Four Quarters Meats are varied and oh so tempting. Local pork from Omnivore Acres gets cut into chops, dried sausages, a whole range of specialty cured meats and even a selection of Christmas hams — be sure to get your name down now if you want one for the holidays.

Smoked sausages range from southern chorizo to a kielbasa flavoured with garlic, nutmeg and marjoram, to turkey cranberry with rosemary, and Andouille Cajun sausage with thyme, allspice, garlic and black pepper.

There’s bacon and cottage rolls and smoked beef. Asian duck sausages. Bratwurst and blood pudding sausages. It’s enough to make a carnivore light-headed with delight. Perhaps the spot where Four Quarters really shines, though, is in the selection of dry-cured salamis.

Geoff spent some of his formative years working in a Serbian deli in Vancouver, surrounded by dozens of cultures and languages, where he learned traditional European methods for curing salamis.

Amidst the rest of the already sought-after meat selection, the salamis have found welcoming homes with many of Victoria’s high-end chefs.

“I came from the restaurant world, and there are a lot of great chefs keen on doing these things,” says Geoff. “It’s nice to make them, but it’s also great to have that connection with them. We’re making the products that, if they had the time and space, they would be making.”

Butcher Geoff Pinch slices ham at his Four Quarters Meats shop in Sidney. Don Denton photography

He has a passion for taking his time and creating the best product possible, perhaps influenced by seeing small scale and local food producers and butchers from a very young age.

Geoff grew up surrounded by small game and livestock, thanks to a hobby farmer mom and two sisters in 4H.

“We had rabbits, chickens, lambs, the odd pig,” he says. “I remember going to the local butcher, the abattoir. It was just normal to me.”

Now, Geoff works with myriad local farmers, including a number of folks on the smaller islands.

“We do a fair bit of custom cutting and processing,” he says, noting they send back the finished products for the farms to sell.

This February marks five years for the shop, and it’s hit a good balance between having enough supply as a wholesaler and keeping the quality impeccably high.

“It’s hard to be a wholesaler when you’re little,” he says, adding that wholesaling was the primary reason he chose the spot in the more industrial West Sidney. But the shop hit the ground running, and soon had relationships with a number of restaurants and specialty shops throughout Victoria.

“Irish Times has almost been partners with us,” he laughs.

Now, he’s got a staff of three (Brian, Marty and Shawn) as well as his wife Sally, who acts as a “behind-the-scenes partner,” he adds with a smile.

“I’ve been really lucky with the staff I’ve got,” he adds.

As the business has increased, he’s added a new staff member just about every year, and it’s grown into a tight-knit team.

With the holidays (and all their glorious celebration of food) just around the corner, the conversation turns to favourites in store. Though Four Quarters Meats supplies quite a few spots nearby – The Farmer’s Daughter, 10 Acres Farm, The Roost, The Butchart Gardens — for the best selection this side of the Root Cellar, the shop on Malaview is the best place to go. It has some great grab-and-go options if you’ve got family and friends coming over for the holidays. (And honestly, just get a box for yourself even if you don’t plan on company. You won’t regret it.)

List of products for sale in Butcher Geoff Pinch’s Four Quarters Meats shop in Sidney. Don Denton photography

The breakfast box has all the morning classics: bacon, sausages, ham. Everything ready to go for a hearty morning. Break out your frying pan and try not to finish it all off in one sitting. For later in the day, the charcuterie box has a variety of pre-sliced cured meats, salamis and smoked sausages.

“It’ll have all your entertaining cheese and cracker type things,” says Geoff.

Asked what he personally recommends, and he offers up three suggestions: the Spanish dried chorizo, the chicken liver pate, and the Lemon Drop salami, flavoured with lemon zest, sweet white wine and fennel seed. And if you’ve got something special in mind, give the shop a call at 250.508.7654. The team regularly does custom orders. Retail hours are Wednesday and Thursday 10 am to 4 pm, and Friday and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.

Check out the shop here.

ChristmasFoodHolidays

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emma Garriott is releasing her second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst.’ (Emma Garriott / Facebook photo)
North Island musician releases second album titled ‘Sad White Girl Angst’

“When you hear it, I want you to feel like your best friend in the whole world is sitting beside you’

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

Jay Vaughn, Brian Pohto and Janet Pohto opened up the Island Sun’s tuna freezers for anyone worried about food thawing over the four-day power outage on Malcolm Island. (Christopher Hurst photo)
Community shines bright during power outage

Hardest hit areas on the North Island stepped up to keep neighbours warm and fed

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read