Meet Brad Grace, A Vegetarian-Turned-Butcher Making Fresh Sausages With The Standards He Grew Up With In Ireland
Brad Grace, a vegetarian-turned-butcher, takes the standards of meat prepping he grew up with in Ireland and applies them at Grace’s Fine Foods, which joins West Palm Beach’s Grange Hall Market this spring.
Grace’s Fine Foods, a full-service butcher shop, is set to bring back the local artisanal good vibes these establishments once offered when it joins the highly anticipated Grange Hall Market opening in West Palm Beach this spring.
At its forefront is Brad Grace, a 34-year-old vegetarian-turned-butcher.
A first impression would lead you to believe that Grace, with his full beard, impressive mustache, tattooed arms and sparkling blue eyes, is shy and reserved. But these two traits are lost when he’s on stage with his punk band, Poison the Well, jamming out on his bass. He’s a man with many facets: kind husband, talented musician, and now, a charming sausage maker.
Growing up in Ireland, Grace’s mother would visit the local butcher to buy meat every week. In 1994 when he moved to the United States, where supermarkets replaced local markets, Grace couldn’t bring himself to eat meat that came from unknown sources.
“I couldn’t get behind the idea of factory farming, so I became a vegetarian,” Grace says. “I needed to know my meats were raised ethically, and I needed to know exactly where they came from.”
In 2015 that need inspired him to move from New York City to South Florida in order to open Grace’s Fine Foods and fill the gap he saw in the local food marketplace.
Grace’s Fine Foods is a true farm-to-table enterprise that is based on one truth: good food comes from good ingredients. Grace creates homemade sausages with meat sourced from small family farms that raise animals in pastures—not in cages—and feed them a natural diet—not antibiotics.
Grace says family farms that were once regarded as old-fashioned are making an outstanding comeback as consumers search for sustainable products.
“Family farms are no longer obsolete thanks to their transparency,” Grace says. “It’s really key, and it’s what allowed me to enjoy meat again.”
Grace passes this knowledge along to his customers, giving them the assurance they’re buying pasture-raised meat. The seasoned sausage maker tucks a strand of his gelled hair into his backward cap and describes his homemade creations.
“My [signature] sausage, the one that started the whole company, is my Irish banger,” Grace says. “It has warm spices including fresh sage, nutmeg and allspice. The other favorite is a Mexican-style chorizo with smoked chili peppers, fresh garlic and Mexican oregano.”
Since last year, Grace has been selling his sausage creations at local breweries, growing his following and his business. His next step is opening the first brick-and-mortar Grace’s Fine Foods location at the Grange Hall Market in West Palm Beach.
Grange Hall Market will be an indoor market—à la Chelsea Market in New York City. There will be 12 permanent vendors including a baker, florist, coffee roaster and, of course, a butcher. It joins a community called The Warehouse District—85,000 square feet of vintage buildings that, in addition to Grange Hall Market, will also be revitalized with a craft beer brewery, cycling studio, squash club and redeveloped District Railway fashioned after New York City’s High Line.
As a New York-trained chef who lived in the city for four years, Grace is now ready to bring his sausage state-of-mind south to his new West Palm Beach neighborhood.
“This is going to be unlike anything down here,” Grace says. “I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Grace’s Fine Foods will feature a daily selection of fresh-made sausages, a variety of pasture-raised meats and cuts, fresh-made sandwiches, prepared foods and a daily braise—one of Grace’s famous slow-cooked dishes.
Supermarkets may sustain, but local artisanal stores are sure to give them a run for their money. Grace’s Fine Foods, along with all of the Grange Hall Market specialty vendors, is ready to greet customers by name and fill a void without compromising accessibility and timeliness.