VIENNA — Chris Brundick and Roger Schulte are building a state inspected meat facility in the former WOW Pizza building along Highway V, Vienna. The Farmer’s Meat Market is anticipated to …
VIENNA — Chris Brundick and Roger Schulte are building a state inspected meat facility in the former WOW Pizza building along Highway V, Vienna. The Farmer’s Meat Market is anticipated to be open in early 2021.
Brundick of Argyle and Schulte of Brinktown are friends and they have had conversations about what to do with the former WOW Pizza building owned by Schulte. He talked about selling it. Then the Covid-19 coronavirus global pandemic hit. The butcher shops were all covered up with the increased demand for butchered meat for freezers. Then the meat packing companies shut down because of the virus and caused a meat shortage.
People wanted to go back to the older ways and to depend upon themselves. They wanted locally produced meat in their freezers, but again, the butcher shops were not taking new business, some of them for months or nearly a year. People have been trying to stay closer to home and not go the stores every day. The demand for freezers rapidly increased so much that they could not be purchased anywhere. The virus created a new trend to know where your meat is produced and people wanted to buy locally. Brundick said they became aware of there being a lot of meat butchering business out there. Locally grown meat is popular as it is of good quality, the supply is safe, it’s abundant and it is more affordable.
Brundick said he and Schulte talked about it and thought it was a good use of the building just outside the city limits on Highway V.
He’d personally had an incident trying to ship some hogs when a big packing house shut down. He had to go get the hogs and bring them back home. He had to protect his herd and could not put those hogs back in the same pen with them. He ended up putting them in with some fat cattle for a couple of weeks. He didn’t know how long this would go on.
He contacted Schulte and asked if the cooler and freezers at the WOW Pizza building still worked. One of them did, and they put in a meter and the next thing they knew they were applying to the State of Missouri as a licensed kill plant. The Farmer’s Meat Market was born. Custom meat is exempt from inspection, but if they sell meat at retail it has to have a Missouri Department of Agriculture inspection. They use USDA guidelines.
He said the new meat market will provide a service to farmers and to the community. The initial problem was the local meat markets were full and long waiting lists as the demand for freezer meat increased. Brundick and Schulte toured local facilities and they all were happy to welcome them in the market place.
They have been working on this since September and have made good progress. They used the best ideas. The receiving pens are nearly finished. It will be smooth process as the animals will be brought to the market and unloaded in a drive-through process that does not require them to back up the truck.
Working with the City of Vienna, Farmer’s Meat Market will use the city’s sewer system. They have hired an engineer to design a pre-treatment system and all of this should happen soon. The system will reduce biological oxygen demand (BOD) prior to discharge into the city’s collection system. The city’s engineer will need to sign off on the project.
Brundick said they are working with a Jefferson City company putting in the rail system. They are putting in more coolers, and the kill floor is nearly complete.
The business plan is to open for business near the first of the year. They are pushing hard to be ready, inspected and permitted by Nov. 30. Brundick said he and Schulte are partners and they are excited to get this business up and rolling.
Once they are open for business, they anticipate having four or five people, meat cutters working. Brundick and Schulte plan to be hands-on owners. He added that he still farms.
They will begin with custom meat and soon after want to do some retail meat sells as well. But, their first priority is to create an opportunity for more people to get their animals slaughtered. The retail and speciality items will come later. They can hold about 44 to 48 animals at a time.
The need for a new meat slaughter business is there and is really becoming a necessity. “Farmers here promote quality beef but are backed into a corner because there is no place to take them,” Brundick said. This will help local producers.
When the business expands into the realm of retail, they hope this will bring customers from the surrounding communities to their door.