Leaving a Legacy
As you may know, Paul Nutting, our beloved Meat and Seafood manager passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 22nd.
Paul was special. He followed his father’s footsteps, becoming a grocery store butcher. He knew the old-fashioned techniques that small-town and neighborhood grocers employed. He introduced our co-op to one of those techniques—hanging beef. That’s what got us started on the Bubba’s Natural beef. He was talking to our board director about it and that’s when Tom Koskovich said he had a place to raise a small herd. Paul had to call up his brother Steve because we couldn’t find the rails needed for hanging beef. Steve found us some in somebody’s basement and we also had to build a unique meat refrigeration unit for the process.
Paul ended up teaching many new hires how to cut meat. As we grew, he found farm partners like Bonnie & Joe Austin from Hill and Vale Farm, and Eric and Lisa Klein from Hidden Stream Farm who could create a continuous supply of beef (from both farms) and pork (just from Hidden Stream) grown in accordance to our standards (no added antibiotics or hormones, pastured and within a few hours of our store).
Nothing was ever out of the realm of possibility for Paul. When we asked if he could find a clean source for brats, he said he could make them for us. When we wanted gluten-free and nitrite-free hot dogs and bacon, he found a processor willing to smoke our own pork the old-fashioned way, without injecting preservative or adding fillers or flavorings. When we wanted to expand the Bubba’s Natural program into Down in the Valley, he was all for it. He even found us a farm partner for turkeys—Jon and Erica Peterson of Ferndale Market.
Whenever we grilled for special events like Father’s Day or Farm Fest, he was right there by the coals, flipping the brats he made. He even dressed up as “Nutsy the Clown” on occasion. He was a part of a group called Clowns across the River. When he and his wife Linda married, half-way through the reception he changed into his clown outfit and passed out red clown noses to the kids.
Oh, yes, he was special and he will be missed. He leaves behind a legacy for us with our meat program and those clown-sized shoes of his will be hard to fill.