Work continues for EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute's new $1.1M butcher shop

CLEVELAND - As a new class of trainees begins the process of learning the inner workings of the restaurant world as part of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, a few blocks off Shaker Square work continues on the spot that will help expand on that education with the new $1.1 million EDWINS Butcher Shop.

"We're moving along and we're moving along quick," said EDWINS Founder Brandon Chrostowski. "Nov. 1 we're due to be finished with construction... We're poised for a mid-December opening."

EDWINS Restaurant has received international recognition for the work they've done in training formerly incarcerated people for jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Attention that only grew with the release of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Knife Skills."

The butcher shop is an expansion of the EDWINS vision and the education.

"This is a place where someone can get some nice cuts of meat, ground beef, deli hams, cheeses you name it but also charcuteries and the good stuff smokies and kielbasa, salamis," Chrostowski said.

"But more importantly what's going on here is the level of teaching that's increased for any student going through our program, so for two weeks out of our classes someone comes here to learn the cuts of butchery, they're taking apart whole animals, half animals and bringing them down to portions. Most importantly for me it's making sure this neighborhood has what it deserves and that's a good fresh food butcher shop, that's priced right."

He said the hope is to see it thrive and expand down Buckeye Road with other shops.

Down the road a bakery, another way to increase the skills set of our students, another way to service our community and then from there a spice shop, a fish shop maybe a little sushi here and there but the plan is to continue to move on down Buckeye and increase our student's ability and provide the community what it deserves," he said.

Efforts made a little easier he said by the attention "Knife Skills" has received.

"Are you kidding me," he said when asked if it's made a difference. "I mean you go to the Oscars, you start to get more exposure. Just last week I was at Yale speaking and now New Haven wants an EDWINS project.

"At EDWINS in Shaker Square we're getting people, last night we had someone from Rochester, New York, they're coming from Ottawa, they're coming from Pasadena, Cheyenne Wyoming - I've never heard of half these cities but people are watching this documentary and they're coming to Edwin's because they want to support, they want to taste the truth."

Good for them and good for Buckeye—Shaker neighborhood.

"There's a lot of excitement around the neighborhood," Chrostowski said.

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