Episode 9: Truck, Shop & Money

Brandon and Lauren review the timeline of their shop outfitting, truck building and the money it took (at various stages in the process…and at just the right time!) to get their basic infrastructure in place making them fully operational, safe and efficient.

From 2010-2018, they note 5 distinct phases of buildout, the last one they’re finishing this year (2018).  They talk about different models of growth, waiting and more waiting (specifically for their slow growth model), the volume vs. diversity models of small business, and how they had to adopt different hats along the way to make it all happen.

They hope the story can offer some ideas and food for thought for your own agrarian operations.

Show Notes

Topics Discussed

Introduction and Announcements:

  • We have a YouTube Channel!
  • Family Pig Tickets almost sold out
  • Newsletter Signup; get a free Meat Cookery e-chapter
  • Follow us on Instagram for some upcoming ‘fun’ giveaways, contests, etc.

Content Introduction:

  • Following the Meatsmith infrastructure growth, slow model style
  • Two models: Volume vs. Diversity.  We went diversity.

Phases of growing our biggest tools–the slaughter truck and butcher shop–with the money ups and downs in-between:

  • Phase 1: 2010, The one-car garage setup out of our tiny 1st home. Acquiring tools and storing them.
  • Phase 2: 2012, Purchased 2nd and final home, that came with a carport (future shop), 2.5 acres, for a miracle price in 2012.  Couldn’t afford rent somewhere for business, so wanted to keep the operation in-house.  We poured the concrete slab for the shop…then, we wait….for years to complete the shop.
  • Phase 3: 2012-2013, Took out a ‘big’ loan with a friend. We turned our attention to our slaughter truck.  Bought a box truck, consolidated home purchase loans, purchased used meat trolley system, ran electricity to shop, and outfitted the truck with metal trolley system.
    • Out we outfitted the truck….it’s a story in itself.
  • Phase 4: 2014-2015, We need a shop! So…we applied for a grant and won it!  Build the shop with it. We talk about all the details:
    • Brandon’s craftsman uncle and a local contractor who built it
    • fancy tiles
    • the oven we had restored
    • butcher’s block
    • wrapping table and trolley system from retired Tacoma processor
    • showpiece central table
  • Phase 5: 2018, We need to finish the shop!  This year we’re able to finish the exterior (gutters, ex. paint, basic landscaping, etc.), and some interior finish work (hanging scale, walk-in lighting, etc.).

Part of the slow growth model is that you don’t just own your business, but you learn other industries that are necessary for your growth in the moment…i.e. wearing many hats.  For us this meant learning real estate, general contracting, grant writing, website building, and now it means filming/sound and social media production.

Links for Episode 9

-YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKiU0P-N1LR61p8qMOJZkYw

-Family Pig Classes: http://farmsteadmeatsmith.com/product/the-family-pig-complete-harvest-course/ 

-Newsletter Signup for a Meatcookery e-chapter: http://eepurl.com/cPQeC1

-Meatsmith Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/farmsteadmeatsmith/

-Farmrun.com creative studio: http://farmrun.com

-Homestead Vintage Stove Company: http://www.homesteadstoves.com

-Podcast support page: https://www.patreon.com/meatsmith

-Meatsmith Membership (it’s open for registration March 24th-April 8th): http://farmsteadmeatsmith.com/membership/