Before COVID-19 hit, Alex Pavloff, a fourth generation Potrero Hill resident, threw large cookouts with his family on Connecticut Street, hosting upwards of 100 people. That stopped due to the pandemic, but Pavloff continued to feel the urge to feed his friends and family. Pavloff’s Farm to City Meat Service was born from that impulse.
Though raised in San Francisco, agriculture is in Pavloff’s blood. His maternal grandfather cultivated asparagus and tomatoes in Stockton, raising animals to feed his family and friends. Pavloff decided to go into farming after building a farmhouse in Tomales for Hill residents David Jablons and Tamara Hicks, who own Toluma Farms & Tomales Farmstead Creamery, as well as Daily Driver in Dogpatch.
“When I went up there, I found it was kind of cool that there were people my own age (early 20s) that had animals and farms,” he told the View. “It sparked my interest.”
Years later, Pavloff signed a long-term lease on land in Petaluma that’d been used for organic farming for the last 100 years. He began raising Dorset lambs and Angus cattle, dubbing his ranch Agnello Farms, Italian for lamb, paying homage to Pavloff’s heritage. He slowly built his operations over the past five years, feeding his friends and family with meat that’s humanely raised, hormone-free, and organically pastured.
“I’ve always been a red meat eater and have cared about the quality of the meat I’m eating,” he said. “I like to feed people around me with high-quality product.”
Pavloff has now launched Farm to City Meat Service. Similar to other food and drink subscriptions, customers can supplement and modify their boxes according to their needs. In addition to a wide array of 65-day aged steaks, roasts, lamb chops, and other specialty cuts, Pavloff is including his favorite local products as add-ons, such as Tomales Farmstead cheeses and La Colina Ranch olive oil. He’ll offer his own spice blends, charcuterie items, jams, and other condiments in the coming months.
“The subscription boxes are also a discovery service because I’m including family recipes and giving suggestions on how to use lesser-known cuts of meat,” he said. “The meat will be brought directly to customers, without them having to navigate the grocery store. We make it easier for people to get a quality product.”
Ease of delivery is particularly relevant while the pandemic rages on, during which going to the grocery store or butcher has an added layer of stress. The boxes are delivered directly to Bay Area residents once a month. Customers can choose whether they want beef, lamb, or a combination, as well as the amount. Ten pounds feeds two to four people for a month; 20 pounds, four to six people.
Pavloff, also a building contractor, is constructing a meat shop at 1700 20th, down the street from the house where his grandfather and father grew up.
“It’s a property I purchased a few years ago within the area my family still lives,” he said. “I wanted to bring meat from my farm in Petaluma to serve this tight-knit community.”
The shop is set to open this spring and will serve as a space where customers can pick-up their meat boxes and other locally made pantry items.
Agnello Farms’ beef is being featured at Daily Driver’s Friday Night Burger popup, available from 5 to 7 p.m. every Friday in Dogpatch.
Once the pandemic has subsided, Pavloff plans to start hosting farm parties again, as his family has done for years.
To find out more about Agnello Farms and to order a meat subscription box, visit www.agnellofarms.com.