To add more culinary training and a shop to its agenda, Edwins restaurant has acquired a former butcher shop building next to its Cleveland campus.

The nonprofit that operates a French restaurant at Shaker Square that helps formerly incarcerated people gain job skills and re-enter society, just shelled out $50,000 to acquire a one-time butcher shop building at 13024 Buckeye Road.

Empty since 2000, the shop adjoins its just-completed Edwins Second Chance Life Skills Center, which provides housing and added services for its students.

Brandon Chrostowski, founder of the Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute, said the nonprofit plans to invest more than $800,000 improving and outfitting the property to this fall open the butcher shop and deli. Offering 25 seats, carryout and delivery services, the deli at Edwins Butcher Shop will also sell barbecue, sandwiches and prepared foods, as well as healthy meats to the surrounding community.

About 40% of the meats processed at the shop will be sold to the group’s restaurant at lower cost than its vendors can provide, Chrostowski said.

“To learn the ins and outs of butchering,” he said, “you have to have product moving in and out so students can practice on it. Margins on butchering are so slim it would require too much volume to run a shop alone, so we have the deli to serve the community.”

Men and women going through the restaurant training program will cycle through the shop so they have a hyper focus on butchering. They will learn meat cutting from making chops to smoking meats and similar skills valuable to restaurants.

Read the rest here!