For the past three years, August Avantaggio has considered opening a butcher shop in Damariscotta. By early May, Riverside Butcher Company will open at 49 Main St.
“I’m really excited to bring this kind of year-round business to the downtown,” Avantaggio said. “This area has a great sense of community and downtown Damariscotta is a unique place for all of Midcoast Maine.”
Avantaggio, of Damariscotta, had long thought the space next to the Fisherman’s Catch Seafood Market would make a great location for the butcher shop. At the time, however, another business had leased the space.
In early November, Avantaggio received a call saying the previous tenant had decided to move and asking if he was still interested in the spot.
Avantaggio began the process of renovating the building earlier in March and is on track to finish by early May.
“There’s a lot that needs to happen in a month, but right now everything’s on schedule,” Avantaggio said.
Avantaggio plans to offer beef, pork, and poultry, all of which will be sourced as locally as possible. Avantaggio has been in conversation with farmers across the state, including some as close as Newcastle.
“People want to know where their food is coming from, especially with vegetables and more and more with meat,” Avantaggio said. “The more we can do to promote all the local businesses and support the local farmers, the better. This is really a town and a community that helps and supports everyone, and that’s really important.”
Once the kitchen renovation and inspection is complete, Avantaggio will offer sausages made in-house, homemade specialty burgers, and prepared items, such as chicken potpies, marinated kabobs, and meatballs.
Avantaggio also hopes to carry seasonal, local produce and a selection of beer and wine.
Since announcing his plans to open the shop, Avantaggio has received a lot of positive feedback from the community, something he will rely on as he shapes the store.
“I have a vision for the store, but I will be listening to what the community wants so I can adapt,” Avantaggio said. “Having grown up here, there’s a reason I came back here to make a living and start a family. It’s been great to hear all the support.”
For more information, find Riverside Butcher Company on Facebook or visit riversidebutcher.com.