Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  By investing in a Pendulum Fine Meats® CSA, you are supporting local farmers, local small-scale meat processors, local employees and families supported by our shop, and you are also creating demand for non-factory farmed meats. 

What is our supply chain like?

Pendulum Fine Meats® deals directly with farmers, not wholesalers. By negotiating directly with farmers, we have regular, consistent and transparent relationships, and we are able to provide you with regular, consistent and transparently sourced products!  

How do we find farmers?

Pendulum is very active in state and regional meat producers groups.  These small groups, like The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, http://www.nichemeatprocessing.org/  help small producers connect with one another, and they also offer training and mentoring for us.  NC Choices, http://ncchoices.ces.ncsu.edu/, is another great example of a program linking farmers with consumers.  We have met most of our producers through the NC Choices annual conference, and then we visited their farms to confirm that their production practices are consistent with our vision. We seek out farms and processors who are Animal Welfare Approved, http://animalwelfareapproved.org/, one of the most rigorous standards for humane animal production in the US.  If our producers cannot be Animal Welfare Approved, such as our grain-finished beef producer (AWA does not grant approval for grain-finishing) we assure that the animals are maintained on pasture with free-feeding, and never go to a feedlot. 

How do we process our meat?

Pendulum selects meat processors for their quality, humane-handling practices, and small scale.  We believe in the benefits of these aspects of meat processing for a variety of reasons.  We believe as a good steward of that animal's life we must ensure quality, humane handling, and we only work with processors who agree with this. These small scale facilities are not lacking in proper technology or quality control.  By processing fewer animals, however, consumers are exposed to fewer opportunities for wide-scale recalls.  

How do we deliver your meats?

To sustain the whole animal butchery and deliver the best quality to you, Pendulum and the partner farmer organize the slaughtering of a finished animal on a weekly to monthly basis. While Pendulum's retail store sells fresh, unfrozen cuts directly to the customer on a first come, first served basis, Pendulum's meat CSA program reserves specific cuts for its members to be delivered weekly, biweekly or monthly. To guarantee freshness over time, the meat is packaged under deep vacuum and immediately frozen after the slaughter and natural aging of the carcass (21 to 30 days for beef and only a minimum 3 days for hogs). Pendulum preserves the frozen packages in a deep freeze environment until it is sold to its CSA members.  With the CSA program starting, we do not foresee that the meat will remain frozen for more than 4 months and as the program develops, the meats should have a complete turn over in one month. For poultry, Pendulum reserves a large number of birds ahead of time to allow sustainable farming with the growers. Our poultry is packaged under deep vacuum and immediately frozen upon processing. Pendulum sells only frozen whole poultry and poultry parts to maintain quality and safe handling, which functions additionally as a bacterial control. Frozen poultry you receive could be as old as 6 months.

How should I store/use my meat?

Please keep your meats frozen until you are almost ready to use them.  For thawing, you can either place it in the refrigerator.  A whole chicken might take 2-3 days, otherwise overnight for most packs of meat under 2 pounds.  Quicker thawing can occur by placing the vacuum sealed package in a bowl in the sink and running a trickle of cold water over it for about an hour.  This ensures that the package does not come up to a pathogen-promoting temperature in some parts while the rest is frozen. Please use your thawed product within 4 days. 

Who are we?

Pendulum Fine Meats® is owned by 2 families that live in Norfolk, VA.  We are teachers, chefs, and doctors.  While we aren't backed by investors and we don't have a marketing department (except for ourselves), we are pretty proud of what Pendulum has become!  We opened our doors of our retail shop in February 2014 and have been serving up really good foods ever since!

How does Auto Renew work? 

When you sign up for a Meat CSA, you will be billed at that time for your first box.  Thereafter, you will be billed for a single delivery plus any add-ons the Saturday prior to delivery, which is when the order window closes. To cancel, call us at 757-962-6990, or shoot us an email at sales@pendulummeats.com  prior to the order deadline which is the Saturday prior to your scheduled pick-up.

Where is our store?

We are located at 820 Shirley Ave., in the Ghent section of Norfolk.  We live in the neighborhood, and feel proud to be a part of Norfolk!