Co-founders James Peisker and Chris Carter met in one of downtown Nashville’s favorite kitchens. They immediately hit it off, and decided to jump ship to start their own catering business. As the business grew, Chris and James realized how hard it was to get their hands on quality, local meat from sources they could trust.
"When our go-to farmers market stands inevitably sold out, we had nowhere to turn for high quality, local meat."
They made constant trips to the farmer’s market, but even there, the meat wasn’t cut properly, and was often sold frozen. Yet again, they decided to take matters into their own hands, and started their own butcher shop.
Today, Porter Road works with select local farms, processes all meat in their own facility in Kentucky, and hand-cuts every piece at their Nashville shop. While the butcher shop has become a cult favorite for people who live nearby, Chris and James realized that friends and family outside of Nashville were still stuck eating low quality, grocery store meat. In 2017, they decided to take Porter Road online with the goal of making the world’s best meat accessible nationwide.
Chris Carter "The Wildcard"
Chris Carter, a Nashville native who was born and raised in Hendersonville, made his entrée into the restaurant industry when he was in high school working as a busboy. After graduating from Hendersonville High, he attended the University of Memphis where he graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management. Throughout his time in college Chris did promotions for a local radio station and additionally worked in restaurants both as a bartender and a server before leaving Memphis in pursuit of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. While studying the culinary arts, Chris elected to continue his undergraduate education, majoring in Culinary Management. During school he took his first kitchen job as the sous chef at Dragon Fly Café, but switched gears a year and a half later, working in both Atlas Bistro and Twisted Rose Winery and Eatery, further opening his eyes to the culinary arts. It was after culinary school however, working at Flemings Steakhouse, where Chris really mastered the art of grilling meats and came to understand and appreciate high quality meat. In 2009 he moved back to Nashville and took a job at the Capital Grille where he met James and jump-started their business partnership. While not driving all over the region to pick up animals or serving our customers in the shop, Chris enjoys going to a good concert, drinking a few cold beers while fishing, roaming the aisles of Bass Pro Shop out at Opry Mills and occasionally finds his center in a sweaty hot yoga class—you ought to see this guy’s headstand.
James Peisker "Jaime"
James Peisker initially embarked on his culinary career when he was just 14 years old, working as a busboy in the diner that sat just across the street from his St. Louis home. After working his way up to a server, James was eager to continue his culinary education, so after graduating from high school, he spent time working in the kitchen at The Gatesworth where the chefs taught him the foundations of his culinary knowledge. He competed with the American Culinary Federation State Junior Team during the short time he spent at Forest Park Community College, an experience which eventually inspired him to attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Immediately after graduating, he spent two weeks studying at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine in China, and soon made his way back to St. Louis where he took charge of the city’s culinary scene. James became the roundsman at Old Warson Country Club and later became the sous chef at Niche, where he took charge of the restaurant’s whole animal butchering and really found a passion for the craft. He ultimately did a stage at The Butcher and Larder in Chicago and now teaches our Porter Road Butchers everything he knows. On the off chance that James isn’t working at the butcher shop, he can be found reading informational books about food, drinking plenty of whiskey, cooking elaborate meals for his wife, or pretending he is a teapot.
Kyle Colvard "Keelay"
Kyle Colvard comes to Nashville by way of Birmingham, AL, by way of Charleston, SC…by way of Nashville…by way of Birmingham. Got that? An Alabama native, Kyle naturally attended the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) but his trajectory after that wasn’t quite as clear-cut. Graduating with a degree in mathematics, having professional restaurant experience, and also a soon-to-be wife heading beginning pharmaceutical residency, Kyle accompanied his lady to Nashville when she started at Vanderbilt. During that first stint in Nashville he helped to open up the kitchen at The Southern, and soon after went with Michelle to her second city for residency, Charleston, SC. We have to admit- she picked some pretty great towns. Eventually they moved back to BHam, where Kyle worked at James Beard Nominated restaurant Ollie Irene. It was there that he dove into charcuterie and worked more heavily with meat—something he really enjoyed. The transition to PRB was only natural when they moved back to Nashville, and now he’s eager to learn whole animal butchery, advancing his culinary prowess. Outside of all things food, Kyle enjoys seeing live music (picked a good city for that), hiking with his wife and dogs, and still manages to send love to his hometown as he sips on his favorite Good People Brewery brews.
Taylor Fregoe "Taylor Swift"
Taylor Fregoe is a born and bred Nashvillian. She began following PRB when we opened our doors back in 2011, but never did she consider it an option for employment until the beginning of 2015. Following time spent at Nashville State Culinary School, she sought work in her field, but initially had poor luck: she found a job as a cafeteria lady at Stratford High School. After spotting our Facebook post boasting a need for employees, Taylor reached out and that was that. So while she now spends her days surrounded by meat, she livens things up in her free time by wishing she were a Nashville Rollergirl, hitting the lake to do some wakeboarding, teaching magic tricks to her dog Houdini, and riding motorcycles with her parents.
Samantha Mass "Sam G."
Sam is not a vegetarian. (She doesn’t like labels.) She just doesn’t eat meat. And she hasn’t for 16 years now. Although her aversion to meat began before she got her masters degree in Food Studies at Chatham University (Pittsburgh), learning about the commercial meat industry during her studies didn’t exactly change her mind. Upon moving to Nashville at the end of July with her girlfriend, who is studying Midwifery at Vanderbilt, she knew she wanted to find a job at a place where responsibility was a key factor behind the business. See, Food Studies focuses on things like urban agriculture, food access, responsible farming, and food deserts, for example. You see why Porter Road Butcher stood out? Even though she doesn’t eat meat, Sam understands the value of our product here at PRB and has always had an interest in butchering, and now grinding: “I would say that the grinder is my favorite appliance in the shop.” Aside from grinding, Sam enjoys painting portraits of her cat Gus, eating pizza and drinking bourbon, and being outside. And snow sports. Tough break on that last one, Sam…
Katharine Azzolini "Kat"
Kat joined the Porter Road Butcher team in early 2016. Thanks to her eclectic backgrounds in marketing, and also as a Cheesemonger, Kat wears many hats around the shop. If it doesn’t directly involve cutting meat, chances are that she has something to do with it, whether it be finding new products for our market or keeping Chris and James in line at events. If you follow our Instagram (@prbutcher) or get our newsletter, you already know Kat better than you might realize.