The Romine brothers, twins Matt and Mike, 29, and Jake, 32, grew up on a farm in Attica, Mich., where their dad raised chickens and turkeys as well as rabbit-hunting beagles. The kids learned to butcher rabbits when they were as young as 6, according to Matt, now the head butcher at the family’s boutique butcher shop, Farm Field Table.
The Ferndale shop provides meat for top local restaurants, including Selden Standard and Chartreuse, plus a special ground for Lovers Only burgers. They also sell retail to individual customers who manage to find Farm Field Table’s obscure location. The meat is local, too, all of it raised in Michigan.
They share the space with Culinary Outfitters Provisions, a high-end cheese and chocolate shop.
All three brothers are involved in the venture, including Jake, although he lives in Seattle. He contributes business skills. “He crunches numbers,” says Matt, who is both a butcher and a chef, as is Mike.
Food has always been a big part of the family’s lives. As kids, they read cookbooks voraciously and learned that an important factor was simply not being afraid of experimenting, says Matt.
In 2012, Mulefoot hogs entered the picture at their dad’s farm, and that led to the name of the successful restaurant the Romines opened in Imlay City in 2013.
The Mulefoot Gastropub segued into Hiram’s Tavern, more casual and less expensive, but still very much farm-to-table. Mike works there mornings along with his wife, Allison, before reporting to Ferndale. “He’s a madman,” jokes Matt.
The brothers say a version of Mulefoot will return in the Detroit area. They also credit social media for giving Farm Field Table a higher profile than it might have had given the hard-to-find retail location where they offer bacon, lamb, heritage pork, and “a ton of ground beef.” Grass-fed, of course.
Farm Field Table, 1030 Woodward Heights Suite B, Ferndale; 248-509-8555; farmfieldtable.com.