A local butcher delivery service can now say that it has a permanent home in Port Richmond.
KP’s Fine Meats, founded in March 2020 by Kevin Penney, recently opened its first brick and mortar shop at the former longtime home of Jim’s Meat Market at 2329 E. Clearfield St. Much like the delivery service, the shop will offer, among other things, deli meats, specialty products and various preserved items.
“I’m just excited to open the door and finally have a home for KP’s Fine Meats for people to come in and get to know me and me get to know them,” Penney said.
Originally from South Jersey, Penney initially became interested in entering the food business after recalling the fond memories he had of going to his local deli with his family.
“It becomes sort of like an integral family thing,” Penney said. “These people that serve you food become a part of your life. Every birthday and every holiday you go to the same people for your product.”
Penney then spent the better part of a decade working in the food and hospitality industries in a variety of roles, including working flat-top stoves and becoming a short-order cook, before eventually earning an apprenticeship in butchery at his neighborhood deli.
After moving to Philly in 2018, Penney worked the meat and seafood counter at his local grocery store in Fairmount. But once the pandemic hit, he, like many others, found himself without a job after being laid off.
Yet even after losing his job, Penney still received requests from people in the community for food products. Having developed relationships with suppliers over the years, he then decided to take it upon himself to deliver products to whoever needed them throughout the city. Doing whatever he could to help people get through the pandemic was a major driving force behind starting his business.
“Everyone has their own hardships, and I don’t think that food should be one of them,” Penney said. “If there’s anything that I can do to sort of be the middleman or cut out the middleman and be the one that delivers, I was more than happy to do that.”
After establishing KP’s Fine Meats, Penney at first rented out a ghost kitchen to organize orders and deliveries. Upon deciding to scale up his operation and open his own shop, he eventually decided to occupy the building that was home to Jim’s Meat Market for over 100 years. Considering the building’s history, it wasn’t a difficult decision for Penney.
“It really felt like a no-brainer,” Penney said. “The people I’m getting to know so well now spoke very, very highly of Jim and what he did for the neighborhood.”
Living up to Jim’s legacy by maintaining its values is what Penney most hopes to do with the shop’s opening.
“Why I got into the business is because I had a connection to it,” Penney said. “And I saw the importance of it even through hardship with the pandemic.”