Tucked behind Main Street in The Plains, the Whole Ox is an unpretentious butcher shop devoted to selling a quality cold cut and making friends in the process.
Derek and Amanda Luhowiak, the owners of The Whole Ox, say they decided on the name because their shop is based on whole animal butchery and they use all parts from nose to tail.
The Whole Ox began as a street cart dubbed Local SixFortySeven. It focused more on producing meals, and was a 2009 final four contestant in "Good Morning America's" contest to find the best street cart.
"We really loved our food cart but a more long term goal for us was to have a permanent location focusing on the local meat aspect, which is what led us to opening The Whole Ox back in September of 2011," Amanda said.
"For our first year we were located inside of the IGA in Marshall and very quickly knew that we would need our own space in order to make our dreams a reality," Amanda said. "We moved into the Railroad Depot in
The Plains in October 2012 and have been really happy. . . running our business, helping educate people, hosting specialty dinners, working with local farms and farmers and most importantly being a part of our community."
Amanda hails from Marshall. Her family on her father's side has lived in Fauquier County for as far back as the late 1600s, she said.
"Derek is from Pittsburgh, originally, but has lived and worked in this part of Virginia for the last 10 years," Amanda said.
They have worked together as a team, knowing from the start that they wanted to be self employed in the food industry.
They chose to carry humanely raised, antibiotic and hormone-free meat from neighboring farms like Wiffletree Farm in Warrenton, Martin's Angus Beef in Marshall, and Over the Grass in The Plains, and over 20 others.
Amanda said that during the warmer seasons they sell a lot of produce. At this time of year they sell a great selection of meats, local organic dairy, wine, and craft beer. They even have pre-made meals like pot pies and meatloaf.
"Derek and I want visiting the local butcher shop to be a fun and exciting visit," Amanda said. "Many days you stop in we are tasting a beer or wine from our specialty wine and beer selection, listening to music, and visiting with friends and customers."
"Derek and I also have a specialty hot sauce company, Ol' Red Eye. Ol' Red Eye is smoked habenero peppers blended with spices barrel aged for one year before being bottle," Amanda said of the hot sauce which can be found at The Whole Ox.
Whole Ox is located at 6364 Stuart Street in The Plains; visit them online at .