New Roman-style butcheria opens in downtown Easthampton

By CAITLIN ASHWORTH

@kate_ashworth

Published: 05-02-2017 1:57 AM

EASTHAMPTON — Sometimes a business is born by chance.

For Easthampton’s Vincent and Kasey Corsello, that chance occurred several years ago when the couple, while living in Italy, set out on a shopping trip and stumbled into Sartor, a butchery at an open-air market in Rome. Their hunt for great chicken breasts turned into a future business venture, only the couple didn’t know it at the time.

Kasey says her husband was “like a kid in a candy store” during their visits to Sartor. The Roman-market was also a gathering place and housed vendors selling fruit, vegetables and cheeses as well as some apparel.

The Corsellos would go to the market multiple times a week, sometimes to shop and other times to drink wine and relax. It became their go-to place, and the Sartor family became friends.

When the Corsellos moved back to Easthampton to raise a family after seven years in Italy, Kasey says Vincent couldn’t find anything in the Valley that matched the Italian sausage he had enjoyed abroad. And nothing compared to Sartor’s atmosphere.

So they dreamed up their own way to get a taste of Italy with a local twist — a butcher shop that offers locally sourced meat, but cut the Italian way.

Thus began Corsello Butcheria, a new Roman-market style butcheria that opened at 130 Cottage St. in the city’s downtown business district last month.

Since November, the couple worked to transform the once-vacant space. Over the summer, Vincent Corsello traveled back to Rome for six weeks to train with the Sartor family, learning the techniques on how to cut meat off the bone.

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“It’s hard work,” he said, explaining that the process of the cut must be very accurate and precise.

Kasey Corsello admits that it’s a big risk investing their time and money into the business venture, but they’re excited about the future.

The shop’s meat is cut or ground on-site, and the shop offers a daily sandwich. In fact, before opening last Thursday, Kasey Corsello was busy preparing that day’s sandwich. She rubbed a slice of tomato on toasted bread and then poured on a bit of olive oil. She placed thinly sliced prosciutto di parma and cuts of mozzarella before adding a balsamic glaze.

The sandwich was inspired by Catalan friends she met during her years living in Italy. They would rub tomato on their toast almost every morning.

The Corsellos say transparency with customers is important to them, which is why the cutting room in the front of shop has a large window on Cottage Street, allowing passers-by to see the meat-cutting process.

On Thursday, the case was stocked with meat cuts such as porterhouse, T-bone and mock tenderloin.

The butcheria’s owners also say it’s important to buy meat from farms where animals are raised in a humane way. Some of their meats come from Porter Family Farm in Hawley and Poplar Hill Farm in Whately.

The shop also offers housemade meatballs with beef — freshly ground on-site — parmigiano reggiano, bread crumbs, egg and cream.

“The meatballs are out of this world,” Kasey said.

Italian sausage is made on-site as well, with pork, salt, pepper, fennel, garlic and white wine.

While some may think of the start of a meal is at the first bite, or even when they’ve started cooking, Vincent said “the meal starts when you go shopping.”

The journey

Kasey and Vincent Corsello were colleagues at a pharmaceutical company more than a decade ago. In 2005, Vincent decided to move to Italy to get in touch with his Italian roots. Kasey planned a six-month vacation to stay with Vincent, but they quickly fell in love.

On a visit back to Easthampton, Kasey recalls sitting at by the Nashawannuck Pond and saying, “If I see seven shooting stars, I’m moving to Rome.” Little did she know a meteor shower would happen that night. Kasey’s temporary visit of six months turned into seven years.

Oversees, the Corsellos taught English. Vincent got connected with an oil company and became a project manager. They got married and had their first child before moving back to Massachusetts.

On Saturday, Vincent and Kasey hosted the grand opening of Corsello Butcheria — marking the official start of their business and giving the residents of Easthampton a taste of Italy.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.

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