When we opened our business back in May, I had no idea what I was getting into. I mean I had my hopes and dreams of what our little meat business would be, but for the most part we were running in blind. So we started off with pretty much as much inventory as we could possibly hold. 2 beef, 2 lambs, and 2 hogs. Thinking oh, that should keep us going for awhile. Little did we know....
We didn’t know what was going to sell and what would sit. We had a sneaking suspicion that things like steak and sausages would go faster than most other things. That was to be expected in the summer grilling months. We added in a 1/4 beef less than a month ago and that’s gone already along with a 1/2 hog worth of sausage. We have continuously had lamb available and we have the 3rd one in the freezer currently, but the lamb market has tapered off.
However, now that it’s the beginning of August and we have been attending the Hudsonville Farmers market for 2 months already we are kinda scraping the barrel.
I suppose that’s not a bad thing, but I’m hoping that my customer base sticks with me as we wait for our steers and hogs to be ready for the freezer again. I was a little slow on purchasing my next round of freezer hogs so unfortunately I will not have bacon until at least the beginning of September and the next two beef are a little ways out yet. Hard to sell steak and brisket when they are still walking around the corral. I had one of my regular customers come up to me this past Wednesday at market and look through my list for the week. She was looking for bacon, but sadly I had to tell her we were out. So she settled on a package of sizzler steaks which I told her that they were the last ones! She was both excited for us but also disappointed. She said, "I'm happy it's going so well that you are running out of things, but I'm sad you are running out of things." I get it, I am sad too.
My hope is that my customers and potential customers understand that there are only so many steaks, packages of bacon, short ribs, chops, or whatever per animal. I WISH I could get a whole steer worth of steak or brisket, but sadly that number is very limited to the anatomy of the animal. I've turned away potential sales because I didn't have the meat available. That's a little unnerving as a small business... I just hope that they don't get turned off for good.
So, here I am just hoping and praying that both continue to go well, but that I can get my stock back up in time to keep the customer base that I have slowly built over the last 3 months. In my down time, I have had a chance to do some livestock coloring instead :)
How am I doing? Is there anything that I should improve upon? Is there anything I should carry that I haven't so far? I have no idea... and I am always looking to improve.