They explained they are starting off with pop-up and catering events to introduce their idea to the community and have a proof of concept to help them get financing. They hope to secure a brick-and-mortar location in five to six months.
Gem City Butchery’s first pop-up event is noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 26 at the Jollity, located at 127 E. Third Street in Dayton. The event will feature pork belly burnt ends, brisket sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, greens, baklava and smoked cheesecake. Jollity will provide the beverage pairings for the event.
Mezera said most of the dishes are their own original recipes, with the exception of a few recipes from his mother that he expects will become staples at the smokehouse.
“We also want to use the smoker in some not so traditional ways,” Mezera said. “Vegetarians are often left out of the smoked food category, so we want to include them by making some vegetarian ribs, smoked jack fruit, smoked heads of cauliflower, etc.”
Harrell, who has been a vegetarian for 20 years, said they hope to showcase their vegetarian options by their fourth pop-up event.
Owning a butcher shop has always been a lifelong dream for Mezera. Harrell’s lifelong dream has been to be his own boss.
“I’ve always been waiting for the perfect time, and we had that realization that the perfect time is never going to come,” Mezera said. “We just have to do it.”
Harrell added that working with Mezera gave him the motivation to make this leap.
“I also think COVID really gave us some time off of work to concentrate on our own thing,” Harrell said.
The owners said they are looking forward to having a little more purpose as they offer the community a new lunch destination and a place to get raw and smoked meats.
Next month’s Gem City Butchery pop-up is slated Sunday, July 24.
For more information about Gem City Butchery or to RSVP to their first pop-up event, visit their Facebook page.