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Local business stays competitive, offers custom quality cuts of meat

By Staff | May 5, 2017

KENNY STENZEL, an employee of Sawyer’s Meats, packages some of the USDA Choice aged steaks that are available at Sawyer’s Meats of Fort Dodge.

By KRISS NELSON

editor@farm-news.com

FORT DODGE – Sawyer’s Meats, of Fort Dodge, prides itself on the ability to offer a superior product and custom ordered to meet their customer’s needs, whether on an individual or commercial scale.

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard,” owner Don Sawyer said. “Quality is what keeps us going.”

Sawyer’s Meats, 414 Second Ave. S., has been in business since the early 1960s when Don Sawyer’s father, Charles Sawyer, started the business after previously working for an IBP packing house.

“He saw an opportunity to supply locals and the business took off to supply restaurants,” said Sawyer, who, along with his wife, Suzanne, bought the business in 1996.

The meat locker business has evolved over the years, according to Sawyer, with probably the biggest changes being how the meat, specifically beef, is delivered.

“All of the beef now comes to us as boxed meat,” he said. “The meat is no longer brought to us on rails anymore.”

Sawyer described the outdated delivery process as the beef being hung on hooks and then placed on rails inside a trailer.

“That is a big change and definitely a thing of the past,” he said.

Sawyer added having the meat delivered in a vacuumed-packed box allows them to purchase top quality meat to be made into customized cuts of meat for their clients.

“The advantage is the meat is graded on how we want to buy it, versus receiving an entire animal that may not be the best quality meat that we would want,” he said. “We offer good quality by buying USDA Choice meat.”

In order to stay competitive, Sawyer said they offer special, customized orders to their customers whether they are an individual or a business.

“We offer our products to the public, anything they need. Smaller orders are welcome,” said Sawyer, explaining that a consumer can buy just what they need, not having to necessarily purchase large quantities at one time.

Sawyer’s Meats is well-known for their beef patties and their USDA Choice aged steaks.

“Our beef patties are made to order,” he said. “We grind them here and our cut steaks or USDA Choice aged and also cut to order.”

The No. 1 seller for Sawyer’s Meats are the ribeye steaks.

Sawyer said all of the steaks are unique in that they are aged for 21 days, which makes them more tender. They’re then cut to order, trimmed and vacuum packed, which increases the steak’s shelf life.

Sawyer’s Meats also sells its ground beef in a variety of packaging including 1-, 5- or 10-pound packages, or made into patties, which are usually sold fresh, however, Sawyer said frozen is available.

Ground beef is a huge seller for Sawyer’s Meats, selling approximately 156,000 pounds of ground beef a year.

Sawyer said they also offer Sand Stone prime rib roast for the holiday season.

“Those are also very popular and we will sell hundreds of them,” he said.

Sawyer’s Meats supplies the Webster County Cattlemen for grilling events and has beef jerky for sale, which is available at their location.

Being that it’s a smaller business, Sawyer said most of their products are sold locally. However, they supply to around 40 restaurants within a 70 mile radius of Fort Dodge.

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