The space was previously the bakery/coffeeshop Kadalima, a decent enough place but not one I would cross the city for. The Whole Beast shares the space with the Village Butcher, to which there is a natural synergy.
The whole foodie movement going on is creating a lot of new decent suppliers of all manner products, but I find most of them very expensive for what you get and often the quality of the product is only slightly better than existing products. The Whole Beast is not like that at all. The product is very good and the prices are very reasonable.
So far I have had some of the salami, the chorizo, some other sausages, and bacon. I have yet to have anything that was not of a superior quality.
The one thing I should note is that their salami is nothing like the commercial varieties. It is not a fat and evenly round tube of meat. Cory's salami is much thinner and not uniformly round. He also uses a much coarser grind/chop of the meat. This means his salami is not really well designed to be a sandwich meat. This does not mean it is a bad salami, it just means it is a different product which has different uses.
My single big problem with the Whole Beast is the location, and this is my problem and not something that is the fault of the shop. Being on Oak Bay Avenue means it is not close to where I live and actually not close to any other place I shop at. Getting there is something I do at most once every few months. I am certain that over the next three weeks I will get there to buy cured meats for Christmas but after that it is likely to be months before I get back.
That said, there is an increasing number of suppliers located over in Oak Bay that I do like - Slater's Meats, Octavio and now the Whole Beast.
Here is their list of products:
Our rotating product list:
SALAMI “THE BEAST”
LAMB SALAMI WITH SUMAC AND LEMON
FAIRBURN FARM WATER BUFFALO SALAMI
SALAMI LIMONE E FINOCCHIONA
PROSCIUTTO (about six months away)
WATER BUFFALO BRESAOLA
GUANCIALE (smoked or non-smoked)
COPPA DI TESTA
MAPLE ROSEMARY BACON
SOY AND 5 SPICE BACON
DOUBLE SMOKE BACON
POLISH HAM SAUSAGE
WATER BUFFALO PEPPERONI
BEEF AND PORK PEPPERONI
SMOKED WATER BUFFALO SAUSAGE
HEAD CHEESE or COPPA DI TESTA
KISZKA (liver and heart)
SMOKED CORNED BEEF