On a bright summer day in 2014, the Pleasant District in Oak Park, a village just west of Chicago, was filled with something very pleasant indeed: the smell of fresh meat. The owners of Carnivore were looking to create buzz for their new farm-to-table fish market and butcher shop. And few summer aromas demand attention like 300-plus hamburgers sizzling on the grill. It was enough to make a good first impression on the neighborhood—but it's Carnivore's commitment to quality that keeps people coming from far away, too.
Owners Erik Williams and Brad Knaub take the term "farm-to-table" to heart, as they actually visit the farms from which their food originates. They work closely with local farmers and foragers in Illinois to ensure that Carnivore's products are fresh and of the highest quality. Williams and Knaub can likely tell you where the cows came from, who raised them, and what they ate—all information that helps customers ensure the ingredients they use are as sustainable (and succulent) as possible.
Most of Carnivore’s meat comes from Fairbury, Illinois, an idyllic small town located two hours south of Oak Park. As a result, Carnivore proudly offers locally sourced and responsibly raised meats, seafood, and produce. Such efforts make for more flavorful meat, but the owners believe it's also the right way to do business. To Williams and Knaub, customers deserve to trust in the quality of their meat and seafood. By keeping the Oak Park community connected with Illinois family farms, they guarantee that every cut of meat—from when it's raised to when it hits the grill—is truly Illinois Made.
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