PAWS Magazine

Issue 41, Spring 1999

Food Emporium takes a giant leap backward for all mankind

The elderly couple stood in the open doorway of the refrigerated case. Their indecision raised the temperature of the items displayed inside. The pair picked up one package, then another, discussing the contents of each. What would it be? Cobra or caribou? Rabbit or wild boar?

A few feet away a chef raised a cloud of smoke as he grilled pieces of buffalo. The smell of the sizzling meat drifted into the parking lot of what was once a favorite supermarket of many PAWS’ employees, until Food Emporium became the second outlet of Seattle’s Finest Exotic Meats.

"I have friends who work at Food Emporium who have encouraged me to return despite the exotic meats," said Mike Jones, PAWS Campaign Coordinator. "But ever since I walked through that first cloud of meaty smoke, I haven’t been able to go back."

This new line of meat products has been introduced to a store with an excellent selection of natural foods and a deli that offers several vegetarian and vegan choices. Many PAWS staff members have frequented Food Emporium in the past, enjoying its convenient location and friendly service.

Food Emporium owner Mike Olson told PAWS that his business was "trying to offer alternatives in low-fat diets" in deciding to offer exotic meats. Mark Cordova, manager of Food Emporium’s meat department, wrote a flier for Food Emporium customers touting exotic meats as "the best and most healthful meat you can buy. And the taste... WOW!"

When advised that a vegetarian diet is even lower in fat and has none of the cruelty inherent in meat production and slaughter, Olson said, "I understand…but I don’t necessarily agree." He said the animals - which also include ostrich, emu, alligator, deer, antelope, caribou, pheasant, turtle and others - are farm raised.

Olson conceded that every item his store offers is displayed "on a trial basis," and that Seattle’s Finest Exotic Meats is no exception.

Editor’s note: As this issue of PAWS News went to press, we were saddened to hear that Mike Olson had died suddenly at the age of 46. PAWS offers sincere condolences to the Olson family.

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