Greenbrier County community remains at the center of Mountain Steer Meat Company
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WVVA) - When Frank Ford and James Tuckwiller began the Mountain Steer Meat Company in 2020, they had two goals in mind. The first was to meet a regional beef shortage caused by the pandemic, and the second was to give back to their home and the people of the Greenbrier County community.
“We wouldn’t be here without our friends that are out there, our family, and the people that work for us, with us,” Ford shared. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them, so it’s nice to see everyone come out.”
Mountain Steer celebrated the grand opening of the retail store portion of their facility in White Sulphur Springs on Wednesday. Here, people can come in, and shop local beef that was cut and packaged mere feet away from them. The company announced its plans for the facility in the summer of 2022 and began processing meat that fall.
Ford shared that they expected to process one to two steers a week, but the need of the community quickly tripled that expectation. By February, they expect to be processing 10 steers a week.
Wednesday’s grand opening gained a lot of attention from locals. Ford and Tuckwiller admitted that neither was expecting such an overwhelming response.
“You know, we asked people to park in the back because we were like, ‘Okay, we may need a couple parking spots out front,’ but the whole parking lot’s full, so it really does mean a lot that people do appreciate where their product comes from,” Tuckwiller explained. “You know, that’s been our biggest thing is not only to project what Mountain Steer does but what the community does as a whole.”
There at the opening on Wednesday was Peni Adams, the senior business advisor for the West Virginia HIVE. Through its Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN), the Hive gave Mountain Steer $100,000 in seed money nearly three years ago. This money was coupled with a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enhance business expansion.
Adams says it’s incredible to see just how far that money has gone. It has created six jobs and serves two local country school districts, a local IGA store, and a dozen local restaurants- all with steer born and raised in West Virginia.
“When something phenomenal happens like this, there’s no amount of words that can be used to describe how proud we are because it’s a dream that they had, and it’s finally coming to fruition.”
When asked what the future of Mountain Steer might look like, Ford and Tuckwiller had one word:
“Growth,” Tuckwiller said. “For everybody, you know, for the community, for the business, for the farmers... just give everyone, you know, the growth and keep it coming.”
For and Tuckwiller soon plan to expand their business to online sales, bringing West Virginia beef to the whole country.
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