Share with your friends!

After years of tasteless chicken cutlets and diets touting meat as the enemy, “normal” and “moderation” have become the new buzzwords when it comes to eating meat. Good thing, too, since the new Carnivore Market will entice even a die-hard vegetarian to indulge. And since antibiotics are good for strep throat, but not so great in your steak, this Franklin butcher shop will fast become your go-to for natural meats.

Carnivore Market
Carnivore Market brings antibiotic- and hormone-free meat to Franklin.

Carnivore Market, a butcher shop with a decidedly upscale vibe, offers New York strip, brisket, rib roast, free-range chicken, lamb and more. And all of it is grass-fed, grain-fed, and antibiotic- and hormone-free. They also dry their own sausages and jerky in-house, something many Americans are unfamiliar with, according to owner SJ Botha.

“I grew up on a game farm in South Africa where we processed venison and such. Butcher shops are quite common there. People are accustomed to getting really fresh meat and sausages,” says Botha, who, along with his wife and shop co-owner, Virginia, moved to Williamson County last year so their children could attend WillCo schools.

Customers can find the freshly cut or ground meats listed daily. Plus, Botha will cut any meat or poultry especially for his customers based on their recipe or preference. They even offer soup bones for the cook who wants to prepare homemade stock.

Available at Carnivore MarketPG
Daily meat and poultry available at Carnivore Market

Botha says not only are the fresh meats healthier for you, but the taste is virtually unrecognizable from the meat packaged at the local supermarket.

“Comparing meat from a butcher shop to grocery store meat is like comparing a home-grown tomato to one grown in a greenhouse,” says Botha.

Butcher shop Carnivore Market
Benton’s bacon and country ham, freshly made sausages and hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and poultry are available at Carnivore Market.

Carnivore Market offers more than just fresh meats and poultry, though. If you think of sausage as something you fry up for breakfast, and jerky as the dried, tasteless leather-like stuff you buy at the gas station market, then you need a Carnivore Market tutorial.

Botha offers specialty dried meats like Biltong, beef that cures for 24 hours with vinegar, thyme, coriander and other spices, and is then air dried for seven days. It’s a product he says is one of his bestsellers, especially since the product was featured on a recent  episode of Duck Dynasty.

dBitlong at Carnivore Mkt.
SJ Botha, owner of Carnivore Market, holds Biltong, a dried beef popular in South Africa.

The shop also offers sausages and savory meats beyond anything that comes in a breakfast patty. Think Alpine and Hungarian salami, boudin, Scottish bangers and more. If you want a taste of anything in the well-stocked case of meats and cheeses (they carry select cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse), they are glad to oblige.

Botha is eager to educate customers on different products that may be new, and the shop will help curate a party platter of meat and cheeses or advise on pairings for special events. The first time you visit, plan on sampling a few options, since the store stocks items that you won’t find at any local grocery.

A shop that lets  you indulge in fresh meat and poultry without worrying about it having weird antibiotics or hormones? Dried meats for your next cocktail party? And a friendly neighborhood butcher who shares his passion for good food with you while you shop? Yep. It’s all that and more at Carnivore Market!

Carnivore Market is located at 735 Columbia Ave., Franklin. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (615) 614-3134 or visit to see what’s in stock, sign up for their email and more.

Share with your friends!
About the Author
Cathi Aycock