Anthony Straface, owner of Village Butcher and Market in Star City, shares his go-tos for food-related gifts.
Since opening in July 2021, Village Butcher and Market has been satisfying meat lovers with its specialty sandwiches, premium meats, pop-up breakfasts, and foodie offerings at the Glass Factory along University Avenue in Star City.
Purveyor Anthony Straface has spent his life in Morgantown, and he’s found his passion with food and meat. “I’m Italian,” he says. “My life has revolved around food to one degree or another. I got started with this because I like meat—eating it, grilling it, and cooking it. I couldn’t find specific cuts and products that I was looking for in local grocery stores, so I started the butcher shop and market.”
Working with master farmers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Straface has developed a meat case and market of fresh cuts, custom sandwiches, and specials. “I like to think that I’m going back in time to the day when the local butcher listened to the customer coming into his shop, giving them the quality meat they needed to feed their family good food.”
Village Butcher and Market carries great gifts. Locally made are pasta from Tutto Gelato in Star City and bags of popcorn from Almost Heaven Kettle Corn of Morgantown. Other giftable items include sauces and rubs for meat, preserved vegetables from Pacific Pickle Works, sauces from Alla Famiglia, and TBJ Uncured Bacon Jam as well as mugs from Clay and Fire Studio and sheep’s milk soap from Wilson Family Farm in Smithfield, Pennsylvania.
For West Virginia–sourced foodie gifts in town, Straface likes Appalachian Mercantile General Store and Cafe in Granville for its J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works products and many hand-crafted kitchen- and dining-related items. Local sources for Italian food products and kitchen wares are Nonno Carlo in Suncrest Towne Centre—“they have a nice selection of some higher-end items, some that they even import from Italy”—and San Marzano Italian Market for a wide range of authentic gift items. Of course, Pennsylvania Macaroni Company and other Strip District shops in Pittsburgh are go-tos for all things Italian.
While you’re shopping, consider stopping at this foodie’s favorite eateries in town: Von Blaze, Peking House, and Lefty’s Place in Morgantown and, outside town, Short Story Brewing in Rivesville and Falls City Pub in Ohiopyle.
Asked about kitchen items he uses at the Village Butcher that he’d recommend as gifts for others, Straface says he likes the precision of GLOBAL knives and the versatility of Our Place non-stick pans.
“Quality products make great gifts,” he says.