Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 60

S M A L L B U S I N E S S M AT T E R S

"The meat they
were selling had
no identification
with our state. It
was just another
commodity."
- KELCEY CHRISTENSEN

Kelcey Christensen named
his company 307 Meat
Co. to acknowledge and
promote beef produced in
the state of Wyoming (the
entire state has the 307
area code).

producers and a two-week aging availability.
He is equipped to process 50 head of beef
a week and is already booked up through
December. The facility has 2,000 cattle on the
waiting list.

HIGH DEMAND

60

MEAT+ POULTRY | 09.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

Photos: 307 Meat Co.

The 37-year-old entrepreneur describes the
processing end of the business as "they're
knocking down the door." He adds that the
retail shop is at or above projections and
already accounts for 30% of the company's
volume.

"We anticipated a much higher demand for
the grass-fed meats, but most customers want
the grain-fed meats," he said.
It's not just the source-known meat supply
that rounds up his customer base. The retail
shop displays more than 300 different products
ranging from summer sausage, brats and
chorizo and meats hand-cut and trimmed to
customers' wishes. The retail area represents
1,000 of the facility's 9,000-square-foot space,
and an additional animal handling area.
Although he does no formal advertising,
Christensen says he promoted his new plant
at some trade shows for producers and relies
on social media and his website, 307meat.
com, to spread the word of his products and
services. When asked how he came up with
the name 307 Meat Co., he mentioned that the
entire state of Wyoming has one telephone
area code...307. That, he said, lets existing and
potential customers know that his is genuinely
a "Cowboy State" business.
Christensen applauds the work of his
management team, which includes plant
manager Jace Linke, a fellow University
of Wyoming animal science graduate, with
experience in the meat lab. He also credits
retail manager Nick Nordberg, a Colorado
native who came to the university in pursuit
of a degree in business management, who
has catering team experience and was area
supervisor for a local restaurant.
If you get the hint that there is a bit of an
educational connection that came into play
in assembling this management team, you
are correct. But that concept doesn't just end
there. The company has also planned and
implemented an internship program, bringing
in one intern per university semester. They
anticipate helping to train at least three a year.
There are 11 employees at 307 Meat Co.,
including Christensen. They hope to have
around 15 to 25 employees soon. Therein
lies a cautionary tale that Christensen relates
regarding the planning process for the business:
"Not withstanding the COVID-19
disruptions, I learned that it is vital to keep the
plant operation designed around the ability
to get and keep trained employees. In a large
packing facility, every worker is assigned one
task or makes one cut. In a business our size,
you must be able to find or train employees
who can do - or learn to - do it all; who


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Meat+Poultry - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - September 2020

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Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 2
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Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 50
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG2
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 51
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