RICHMOND, Va. -- For more than 15 years, Tanya Cauthen has been sourcing, slicing, and serving some of the finest meat in Richmond.
Opening the Belmont Butchery in 2007 was a full circle life moment for the small business owner.
"My family will tell you that probably when I was about five or six, I was meat girl," Cauthen said on the Eat It, Virginia podcast. "If we went somewhere, I was eating red meat. Specifically, Officer's Club in Newport, Rhode Island, and that would have been in 1976, a hanging haunch of beef, like a big old leg that they would carve. I would basically hold my plate out and say, more please, red please."
Over the years, Cauthen said she has stayed true to her mission.
"I've just wanted to feed Richmond well, and I'm fortunate that Richmond has let me," she said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused Richmond restaurants to shutter in March 2020, diners turned to Cauthen.
"Everybody has to eat. [The restaurant closures] made us more essential," she said. "People are looking for 'best quality' and 'farm raised.' Since we're small, we can pivot and we always believe in small local farmers. As a chef, that was sort of my thing and that hasn't changed. I've been fortunate that over the last 16 years, I've been able to weather many storms."
It hasn't all been stormy.
Cauthen and Belmont Butchery rode a wave of success when the Food Network invited her to compete on the game show "Chopped."
"We saw huge support from Richmond. It was delightful to see how many people came out to say, congratulations. It's also really fun," she said. "Now, five years later, every time it's on a rerun, we definitely know about it, because a handful of folks will come in not realizing it's a rerun, to congratulate me. That's just super sweet. It feels good."
15 N. Belmont Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221