Shop Talk: Belcampo Meat Co. serves up bone broth and more

This week's retail news

BONE BROTH AND BEYOND... As Palo Alto's newest butcher shop eyes its one-year anniversary at Town & Country Village, a somewhat surprising food item tops the best-seller list at Belcampo Meat Co. It's bone broth. Even more surprisingly, bone broth is not just for cooking; it's for drinking. "We have a hard time keeping it in stock," said Belcampo store manager Kiley Boettcher. "We're currently out of it. We probably go through 20 or 30 quarts a week." So what's the appeal of bone broth, and who does all the drinking? "We get a lot of ladies from The Bar Method," said Boettcher of the exercise studio adjacent to Belcampo. "They love it. They like to drink it right after their workouts. It's got minerals, collagen, lots of good things. Some customers drink it because their doctor has recommended it. Others drink it because they want to stay healthy." Although bone broth is not exactly a new food, those who believe in its health benefits say it's totally different from the broth offered in cartons at neighborhood grocers. "Real bone broth is delicious and aromatic," said Palo Altan Jonny Popovich, who makes his own broth. "And it's not that high-salt, store-bought version. You get it from slowly simmering organic meat bones." One quart of Belcampo's bone broth is $12. Another sought-after item in Boettcher's shop is lard. "Rendered lard sells really well," he said. A big bowl of white lard is displayed in the cabinet and sells for $6 a pound. "And lardo butter is very popular," he added. "It's a mixture of butter and bacon and it's from the back fat of the pig. It has the color and consistency of mashed potatoes. We grind it, mix it with herbs, garlic and red wine vinegar -- it's great for sautéing. It's also good for injecting into turkeys for Thanksgiving." One pound of lardo butter costs 10 bucks.

In addition to selling bone broth, lard and lardo, the store has just announced its first-ever "summer meat camps," to be held at the company's sprawling 20,000-acre farm in Yreka, California, at the foot of Mount Shasta in the Cascade Range. Belcampo President Bronwen Hanna-Korpi said the company has held numerous staff retreats at its Northern California farm, and thought they'd open it up to the public this summer. "Everyone loves it. It's beautiful up there," Hanna-Korpi said. Two camps are currently scheduled -- the Women's Meat Camp starts Aug. 6, and the Gay Men's Meat Camp begins Aug. 13. "We wanted to go after certain groups that aren't traditionally seen as grill masters," she said. Campers will receive a thorough understanding of meat cookery with a focus on open-fire grilling during the intensive three-day outing. Belcampo will also provide a farm boot camp and yoga classes. Accommodations are in luxury tents. To learn more about the meat camps, go to

Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? Daryl Savage will check them out. Email

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


13 people like this
Posted by stock lady
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2015 at 11:35 am

What is this trendy "Bone Broth" .... The real word is STOCK and has been around forever and I've been making it forever. It has always been known as Stock (chicken, beef, veggie etc) and used is so many cooking recipes. IT is sold (albeit horrible) in every grocery store you know. Changing the name does not make it any healthier, trendy or better! Drinking it is consomme or better known as clarified stock.

Let's please stop this trendy stuff that turns something basic into the new savior and get back to basic cooking and basic terms which have been around for centuries.

2 people like this
Posted by bone broth fan
a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2015 at 11:58 am

I think the bone broth at Belcampo is very unique and special. You should read about it and try it once!

5 people like this
Posted by stock lady
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2015 at 12:39 pm

@bone broth fan. Did read this and have tried it.... as I say... been doing this for years and nothing different, except it's home made rather than mass produced. Just trendy...that's all

7 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Stock Lady is right. Calling it bone broth is trendy.

Julia Child drank this stuff on TV. Nothing new.

4 people like this
Posted by Chinese
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 11, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Bone broth is a staple in every Chinese (mostly Cantonese) household. It is highly nutritious especially to growing children, pregnant women and older folks. I've been drinking it as soup since I was little and am now making it for my family weekly. I do agree that Belcampo makes it "trendy" to be drinking bone broth, and I wouldn't mind trying to see how different it might be comparing to the Chinese version.

5 people like this
Posted by Cook
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Yes, I remember when butchers used to give away bones to poor people to make into broth. If they were lucky they might get a few carrot tops or misshapen potatoes from the grocer to put into the broth. I always thought it was poor people food, not trendy.

"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe."

By Mother Goose

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.

She gave them some broth without any bread;

And whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

5 people like this
Posted by stock lady
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

@ COOK...

Love it. Obviously Mother Goose was a trendy lady, if she only knew. I wonder, do vegetarians who use vegetable Broth have to call it "no-bones about it trendy bone broth"?

1 person likes this
Posted by Honest to goodness
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm

We've hit a new low!

1 person likes this
Posted by deb b
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2015 at 7:13 am

All "bone broth" is not created equal and therefore every grocery store does not sell it. Sure you can by some junk broth, stock whatever you want to call it filled with sodium and pasteurized just about anywhere. The real nutrition comes from bones that are from cattle that have not had hormones or antibiotics and have been grass fed and finished their whole life. There are many books you can read and a tremendous amount of information about broth made from healthy bones. As always in this great country we figure out how to make a really great thing something else that is not healthy at all. People get on the band wagon and start abusing our language to the point that some would say that the shelf stable broth is just as good as a product that is not pasteurized........frustrating!!!! I have no problem with something that is really health also being trendy. Its a real switch from the great american diet so who cares????

3 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

"stock lady" and "cook" are right on the money. Yet another food fad. And yes, all grocery stores today DO sell commercial stocks explicitly labeled "bone broth." At least one large producer of shelf-stable broths in aseptic packs now uses that label.

I just assumed it implied those products were actually using bones (for a change), instead of just skin and other cheaper ingredients. Even though the basic definition of soup broth or stock in most cookbooks for, literally, centuries has been based on bones.

That's what renders the trendy phrase obnoxious: soup broth traditionally IMPLIES bone broth.

But as "stock lady" mentioned, some of us aren't affected by such weird whims anyway. We make broths, with bones, for home cooking, and always have.

Back when supermarket butchers actually butchered (i.e. before about the late 90s, when they all went to getting portions pre-cut and vacuum-sealed in plastic), they'd give away bones, tens of pounds of them, if you were a customer and asked. For making stock. (Now, bones are shipped to them as a specialty item, wrapped in small pieces for retail sale, and priced like some meats.) O the times. . .

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 4,509 views

If you do nothing else, do These Three Things
By Sherry Listgarten | 16 comments | 1,491 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 7 comments | 1,288 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,183 views

Finding Balance
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 107 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.