Heritage Craft Butchers opens Washington location

Rick Shrum

Bob Von Scio was looking for expansion, looking for convenience and looking for Washington.

Heritage Craft Butchers found all three at 243 S. Main St. Von Scio and co-owner Jared White opened a distribution facility/store there a month ago, adjacent to Chicco Baccello cafe and slightly up from the train station. The partners are leasing a space previously occupied by a salon.

Their business, based in West Bethlehem Township near Marianna, specializes in craft meats and charcuterie items. The owners cut, cure, prepare and sell meat selections.

Business has ramped up during the pandemic, and the butchers needed space for storage and from which to distribute their monthly Butcher Bags and weekly Essentials Bags filled with meats and other items.

“Our Butcher Bag subscription program over the past year has grown to the point that there’s not enough space in our (West Bethlehem) shop to store everything,” Von Scio said. But he quickly added that location was a key element to this latest expansion.

Heritage has customers from the South Hills and Washington County, and opening a distribution point in the city of Washington makes it more convenient for them to pick up orders there than to navigate the serpentine roads to West Bethlehem, especially if snow is falling.

Convenience also was the impetus behind the owners opening a second location in Waynesburg in July 2019, to satisfy Greene County customers. That, too, is a distribution/storage site.

The butchers had been distributing bags in parking areas, such as the Main Street Pavilion and Washington Brewing, and at farmers markets. Colder weather is due, so pickups will be at Heritage’s three locations.

For now, the South Main shop is essentially a weekend endeavor, open 2 to 6 p.m. Fridays and 12 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Von Scio said the business has a number of food subscribers, “but anyone can come in and buy limited items” at the Washington shop, including pot pies, steaks and cheesecakes. Heritage Craft Butchers has locally sourced and produced items and those from local vendors, including Elysian Fields lamb.

He is thrilled with the new building, calling it “cavernous” and saying it required “absolutely no renovations. We swept the floors and put in a ridiculous number of freezers and refrigerators.” Black and white photos of bacon, sausages and other meats tastefully adorn the walls.

Heritage Craft Butchers opened for business in January 2019, in a former Marianna bank. Now the owners have a third location, one that is strategically convenient.

“We hope to continue to add to what we have here,” Von Scio said. “It is a very nice location.”