Beck & Bulow owners Tony Beck (left) and J.P. Bulow (right) feature quality ingredients at their Santa Fe butcher shop. Photograph by Douglas Merriam.
THE FREEZER CASES AT BECK & BULOW'S butcher shop brim with cuts of bison, chicken, and wild game. A huge buffalo skull, buffalo skins, and ancient butchering tools made from bison bones adorn the walls of the new Santa Fe storefront, which opened in March. On the exterior, two striking murals by local artist Sebastian “Vela” Velasquez beckon customers to check it out.
The old-world shop is an elk-size leap for owners Tony Beck and J.P. Bulow, who have operated the business primarily as a wholesaler, shipping cuts of wild game and buffalo to approximately 250 restaurant clients in New Mexico and to thousands of homes across the United States.
When store shelves emptied as a result of supply chain disruption in late March 2020, however, people began showing up to Beck & Bulow’s 2,500-square-foot distribution center on Jorgensen Lane, hoping to stock their freezers. As their online business increased over the summer, they began developing an expansion plan.
“People know all good food starts with good ingredients,” says Bulow. “We believe people will support an old-style neighborhood butcher where they can get the cuts exactly the way they like them.”
The owners met at a sweat lodge in 2015 and quickly discovered they had a lot in common, including an affinity for the land and honoring Native ways. “Our partnership grew out of our shared principles and values, reverence for the buffalo, and stewardship of the land,” Beck adds.
Behind the fresh meat counter, a dry-aging cabinet showcases buffalo steaks. While known for its wild boar, beef, and wild-caught seafood, Beck & Bulow also sells locally made specialty items such as fresh pasta, olive oils, raw milk, and artisanal cheeses. The partners also raise buffalo and other livestock on 20,000 acres south of Madrid and have added 660 acres in San Miguel County. “We can better control the quality,” says Bulow. “We see ourselves as an old-world butcher with a digital distribution center.”
Beck & Bulow, 1934 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe; 800-674-8426.