Woodland butcher shop connecting local farmers with customers


A butcher shop in northwest Woodland is expanding the market for local ranchers and customers purchasing meat alike.

McPhee’s Butcher Block opened in August last year and will soon expand its services for ranchers to sell their meat to farmers markets and local retail shelves in individual cuts.

James McPhee moved from Alaska to Ridgefield with his family in 2014 and started his ranch to raise meat cattle. For McPhee, local butcher shops were too few and too far, and were not sufficiently processing the amount of livestock meat being raised in the area. Knowing their ranch would only continue to grow, McPhee invested in his own butcher shop for local ranchers.

“There really hasn’t been a new butcher shop open in the Clark or Cowlitz area for a long time … We found it a big hurdle in getting stuff processed, capacity wise, into the quality that we were looking for. So five years ago, we decided to start the journey of opening a butcher shop, and now we’re finally here,” McPhee said.

Currently, McPhee’s Butcher Block, 2250 Robinson Road, Woodland, provides custom processing by cutting, packaging and freezing meat sent in by local ranchers per their instructions. Once a mobile slaughter truck brings the animal, butchers cut the meat per the rancher’s instructions and are picked up at the block to take home.

“They pick up their meat … to take home and put in their freezer to feed (families) for six months or a year.”

McPhee’s Butcher Block will soon have a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector on site during operations. Meat processed with USDA inspections can be sold in individual cuts in retail stores, which will allow local ranchers to expand their market to retail. McPhee said having a nearby USDA-approved meat processing facility will be a relief for local ranchers looking to process beef, pork, lamb and goat meat for local markets.

“Right now (ranchers) have to haul their animals four or five hours away, get it processed, and then [drive it] all the way back. …That’s more stress on the animals, takes a little time for the [ranchers] and costs a significant amount of money,” McPhee said.

Although the building has been operating since August, McPhee plans to have a grand-opening celebration at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 15, the same day as Woodland’s Planters Days celebration. McPhee looks forward to meeting local customers and residents interested in the process of preparing meat.

“We’re just very grateful for all of our customers and thankful for their support,” McPhee said. “We’re gonna be here for a long time, and we’d love to see it be a generational business.”

The facility has a window for customers to view the meat preparation, a decision McPhee made to ensure transparency in the process. The butcher shop currently sells meat procured from Oregon and Washington ranches and packaged and cooled on retail shelves. McPhee is planning to open a new retail shelf for local seafood, including a live lobster tank.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 360-560-3774 for more information or learn more about McPhees Butcher Block at face book.com/McPheesButcherBlock.