Like that porkchop you bought last Saturday at the City Market, the career of a farmer has an expiration date. For Richard Bean, that date has come. The Double H butcher has announced that, as of two months ago, he and partner Jean Rinaldi have decided to start the next phase of their lives—one that includes a little rest. To do that, they’re putting the business up for sale.
Butcher Richard Bean (pictured), along with his partner, Jean Rinaldi, are selling Double H. He hopes to turn it over to a “young, up-and-coming couple. …We desperately need young farmers,” he says.
“I’m 66 years old, going on 100,” Bean says. It’s time for a vacation, something he and his partner haven’t had in 13 years.
Bean says he and Rinaldi plan to keep their house and some of the farm’s 32 acres in Nelson County, but the new owners of Double H will get all the equipment, the livestock and even the business’ name, if they want it, in the turnkey deal.
“Because we’re pretty famous,” he says, “they’d be foolish not to try and copy some of that.” Bean refers to the legal trouble Double H faced in 2007, when he and Rinaldi were charged with 11 misdemeanors each for selling uninspected meat. (Those troubles have since been cleared up. As part of their plea agreement, the animals Bean butchers are killed in a USDA-approved facility and transported to Double H; they are no longer slaughtered on-site at the farm.)
Bean tells Restaurantarama there have been some parties interested in the business, and that they’ve started conducting interviews. In the meantime, he teaches a class in organic agriculture at PVCC, which he hopes will encourage more people to start farming.
And the response from local restaurant clientele, like Hamiltons’ and The Ivy Inn? “The first thing is always a gasp,” he says, but his customers ultimately understand—he deserves the time off.
Plus, he reasons, “They lived before Double H, they’ll live after Double H.”