A fixture in any community, the butcher shop is a place where you go for meat. That simple description, though, doesn't do the artisans who work in a shop justice: they're craftsman, able to take a dead animal and, through sheer force of will and a few tools, able to turn that animal into a beautiful and delicious delicacy. Most butcher shops you go to nowadays are ran like a small factory. The raw materials - pork, beef, chicken - are refined, cut and worked and carved, into the most prime choice of cuts.
Especially in the last five years or so, there's been a resurgence of the prideful butcher. The people who run these shops now have forgotten more about meat than you'll ever know: they know the best cuts, the best way to get those cuts, and even the best types of meats for a particular dish. Even better, your local butcher shop probably uses locally sourced livestock; not only does your butcher shop have the best meats in town, he also helps out local farmers, and in turn they help the entire local community.
Most butcher shops these days are small storefronts, usually in trendy neighborhoods. You walk in, and the smell of delicious meats assaults you; if you don't know what kind of meat you want right away, the butchers working in the butcher shop will help you find the best cut to go in your perfect dish. Prices may be more than your local big-box department store, but not only is the product a much higher quality at your local butcher shop, but by patronizing your local butcher shop you do your part to keep your local economy healthy.
That's what we all want to hear, really: our local communities are doing fine. We can ensure that new businesses form, and old businesses stay open by buying local, making sure that the local economy has plenty of cash going in. When you have that circulation of cash throughout even something as small as a neighborhood, starting with your butcher shop, everyone benefits: your butcher shop has more cash in hand, and can show that they're much more profitable if they happen to need a loan.
If your butcher shop doesn't use locally-sourced livestock, ask them why. Many times, they don't even think about it, and by simply talking about the benefits of locally sourced livestock, your local butcher shop will take up the mantle of the community and change their distributors. This ensures that you're getting the best meats, at all times from your butcher shop, and you're also helping out your neighbors, and the neighborhood itself.
We can build these communities one brick at a time. If we can entice even a butcher shop to buy local, the community will come out to help them: the butcher shop that buys locally is the butcher shop that stays in business when times are tough. They're the butcher shop that will prosper when times are great, the butcher shop that will become a fixture in the community for decades to come. In addition, the neighborhood gets access to incredibly delicious, fresh meats, and sees their own patronage at that butcher shop comes back through the local economy. Butcher shops are a necessity in everyday life, still, and it's a great thing to see so many rise up after the economic crash of 2008.