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Consistency instrumental to Tiefenthaler success

By Staff | Sep 19, 2013

JOHN TIEFENTHALER, left, joined here with daughter Jordan Tiefenthaler, center, and wife Shelly Tiefenthaler, said the meat market’s numerous awards from the Iowa and American Meat Producers’ Associations attest to the family’s goal of developing not only new producers, but an emphasis on consistency and quality of their products.

HOLSTEIN – Tiefenthaler Quality Meats in Holstein isn’t just a meat market – it’s a destination point for individuals and families seeking new food adventures, said owner John Tiefenthaler.

For instance, he said, during the Fourth of July weekend, customers included a carload from Ankeny residents wanting to do something different.

“They’d heard about us and our products,” Tiefenthaler said. “They’d always wanted to come up and did.”

Tiefenthaler greeted a busload of 50 visitors on Aug. 23 during the Farm to Fork Ida County Culinary Tour coordinated by Laurie Taylor, regional food coordinator, Iowa State University Extension, based in Sioux City.

Additional stops included Shrimp 59 LIC, in Hostein, and Koch’s Garden Market, in Cherokee, prior to a wine-tasting and dinner at the Old Town Vineyard Winery, in Ida Grove.

While popular with hometown consumers, Tiefenthaler said some meat products, such as bratwursts, occasionally end up on dinner tables as far away as California and Virginia.

This, he said, is in despite the added cost of shipping.

“In at least one instance we’ve shipped out a couple of thousand-dollar orders to California,” Tiefenthaler said. “Customers like these are willing to pay for the good stuff they can say is from home. To them, the price is worth it for something different.”

Tiefenthaler took over the meat market in 1991 from its founder, the late Bob Bagenstos. Wife Shelly Tiefenthaler came on board in 1994.

Daughter, Jordan Tiefenthaler, a junior in meat science at ISU, can be found behind the counter during the summer months, and son Austin Tiefenthaler, lends a hand after school and in the evenings.

Consistency and quality are crucial to the company’s success, as is the desire to constantly make new products available to consumers, Tiefenthaler said.

“People are looking for something different all the time – take for instance Pringles with writing on them and personalized M&Ms,” he said. “Our ability and forward-thinking to make something different has, I think, helped us to excel.

“People like different experiences every time they eat,” he said. “They’re looking for not only quality, but flavorful products they’ve been thinking about and want to try.”

The latest of these is the company’s apple cinnamon bacon.

Pointing to Tiefenthaler’s bratwursts as one of the most popular products – as well as snack sticks – he lists such new specialty brats as the pizza, dill and swiss, and green olive and swiss-flavored.

Other more recent additions are marinated pork chops and chicken breasts bolstering the markets’ menu of traditional meat products.

“People are willing to pay for good quality meat products,” Tiefenthaler said. “And I don’t think we’ll ever see that going away even when prices may go up.

“The desire for something different is never going to go away. Consumers will, I believe, continue to eat a beef, or pork roast or chicken for dinner with the only variation having apple pie or a brownie for dessert.

“When you consider the difference between buying, say, junk hamburger and good quality food, your week’s meat bill is still cheaper than your cell phone bill or a week’s tank of gas.”

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