We are open normal hours both today and tomorrow for those of you who want to swing by and get some goodies for grilling.
As things progress from extremely crazy to only somewhat crazy, we’ve been able to do something that was unheard of just a few months ago. We were able to get an additional slot with the processor to take an EXTRA cow to the processor. By extra I mean above and beyond our normal one(ish) cow per month. We just brought a cow back to the farm last week, and we have another scheduled now to go 8 July. That means we should be able to be well stocked with beef for the foreseeable future.
We are also now staying well stocked on chicken.
We are also still well stocked on pork, with more slots coming with the processor this month (ones that we couldn’t book just a few weeks ago). That means we will have our own pork as the primary product in the store for the summer most likely.
All other items are in pretty good shape and are back to pre-COVID levels.
Today our processor pulled another one out of the hat and was able to get our beef back to us early. I picked up our latest cow and have it sitting on the trailer waiting to be unloaded and placed out for sale in the store.
We will be fully stocked tomorrow for opening.
I think we’ve officially jumped the shark on this whole corona virus, can’t find food, buy all the toilette paper in the world thing.
A few months ago, we had NOTHING in the beef freezer. Except cob webs and dust. We kept that empty freezer running for weeks until we could get another cow in from the processor. Then it was emptied in just about 1.5 days and we spent more weeks with an empty freezer.
Friday we have a cow going to the processor and while the beef freezer isn’t exactly full, there are actual cuts of beef in there that we still have for sale. We haven’t had this much beef at the end of the month since March. Yes we are still out of hamburger. And the ribeyes were gone before I could blink. But ribeyes disappear anyway no matter the conditions so that isn’t new.
I shared in my last post that I thought the craziness was over, and that demand would be dropping soon. This past Saturday we did revenue numbers that were comparable to pre-COVID levels. We are out of a lot of items so there is that, but the foot traffic was much lighter as well. The store is matching the internet trending.
Finally, this week we received back both OUR PORK and every single item on our order list from our chicken farmer. We haven’t had a full chicken order since early March, and we went several months with no chicken so this is a huge turn around.
The processors are still booking out into next year so we aren’t getting anything extra processed any time soon. But as retail demand slows, I think we’ll see farmers start dropping appointments. Once that starts, we’ll be able to work through our own backlog and get our pork back in the store more consistently.
With all that said, I’m not posting pictures of the freezers this week. Jeanette was taking well deserved time off and she won’t be in to restock till before we open. Just know that we have pork back fresh from our hogs, chicken in full supply, milk/cheese/dairy fully stocked, and seafood in good supply. We event got in some lamb. Beef is a bit sad but a cow is going Friday so we’ll be back fully stocked next week. After next week, I think you’ll see beef stay in stock going forward.
At least till the murder hornets breed with the locusts in India and make the next 2020 plague.
Yesterday I received the largest chicken order we’ve gotten in several months. Not only did we got lots of whole chicken, but we received the gamut of cuts as well. Drumsticks, wings, whole cut up, etc. I’d say we are officially back in stock, and should remain in stock going forward as demand drops off (restaurants are open again), and the birds Christy had on the ground continue to grow out and finish.
I’m not posting pics of the freezers today because all in all, everything is in stock. We have beef, pork, chicken, goat, sausage. Not every single item every time, but overall we are well stocked. We did receive a bigger than normal order of milk this week (Thanks Tamryn!) so we are even beyond normal stock on raw and pasteurized milk.
With all the big items back in stock, I can spend a minute to talk about some new items we have on hand.
Jeanette mentioned to me that she wanted to bring in some new items. Chicken pot pie, shephards pie, those kinds of things. She’d found a new company she wanted to try and wanted to know if it was ok. If she likes it, then I like it, so sure. I noted that they came in and hit the freezer, but since I’m trying to get back on my no carb diet I didn’t pay much attention beyond that. Then when I was looking for some random thing and ended up having to use Facebook (I NEVER get on Facebook) I saw that someone had left a comment about her purchase at our farm.
“I picked up The Shepard’s Pie today, my husband and I absolutely loved it. I will definitely purchase again.”
Cool. I’m happy that the customer is happy. I still can’t eat one right now till Ioose some weight, but I’m formulating my plans for when that will be.
Then Dustin, my neighbor, is looking for something out of the store, so I tell him, “Hey, we have shephard’s pie and chicken pot pie and I don’t know what else. Jeanette just brought in new stuff.”
Next morning. “Man, that was some seriously good shephard’s pie!” Dustin is particular about what he eats. He’s coming back for seconds as well. I’d say Jeanette is on to something. We don’t sell many things that are easy or convenient. Most everything we sell requires a lot of cooking. Not these items. They are take home frozen and pop in the oven. And of course made with the kind of ingredients you’d expect from our store. It is a win-win.
Next time you are in, I recommend you give them a try. And tell me how they come out since I can’t have one right now.
Thanks to Jeanette who continues to come in on her off days and do all the work to make things happen. And to Wasim at our beef processor who managed to get our cow processed in record time, we have the freezers stocked with beef again.
I don’t have any cute pics or anything current to show you. Just know that hamburger, steaks, roasts, etc are back in stock.
On another note, I’m starting to see things turn back towards normal. Yes, we are gonna sell out of beef again. But take a look at one of our web statistics.
This downward trend in our web site traffic goes back to even higher numbers over the past few months. Things are slowing down. People are less freaked out. I think we’ll be back to normal in another 30 days or so, at least in our little store.
Here is another look, from a different platform, for our traffic over 90 days instead of 30. 90 days would put us pre-COVID craziness. It validates what I was thinking.
There is some noise in that data because it starts at zero. That isn’t entirely accurate as we weren’t measuring then but you can see that they current web traffic is pretty identical to where it was 90 days ago. That was a massive hump in the middle when you consider that we are already a page one result so we get a good bit of web traffic already. With restaurants opening back up, and people able to get everything, even toilet paper occasionally, at the store, we should be back to a more normal demand level pretty soon. Sure, we have a lot of new customers from all this, but I expect we’ll see normal stock levels in the store by the end of July. Chicken is back and that helps a lot. Pork we have on hand, either ours or someone elses. Once beef calms down things will be more like what we are used to.
During all this COVID mess, we ramped up like crazy on cleaning the store, finding alternate processors for our animals, and making sure everything was communicated as quickly and clearly as possible. What we didn’t do was go process a bunch of animals to capture demand now and shortchange us later when we run out. We didn’t change who we were or what we do. I predicted this chart above early into this thing, and we held the course during all of it. This thing will go away and we’ll still be here doing what we do, producing grass finished beef and quality pork, and bringing in other farmers who we know and trust.
Regulars make a business successful, not panic buyers who all want 1/2 of a cow.
We’ll be glad to see you when you stop by.
I wasn’t able to get any inventory updates out last week. I do apologize. I just wasn’t able to get it done since I was out of town. Also, we had a change in inventory that I’ll address this week. I didn’t want to start a stampede so I let this little fact slip for a week.
Beef is currently very sad. Although we do have a cow at the processor right now so hopefully I’ll have beef fully stocked this coming Friday.
Pork is fairly well stocked. Most of it is from another farm, as we’ve been doing these past few weeks. But yesterday I picked up two of our hogs from the processor (last appointment I could get till OCTOBER! Argh!!) We have ground pork, pork chops, butts, etc from these hogs so we have a mix of our pork and other pork again.
Chicken is back in stock! That is the big news that I was hinting at. Last week we received 28 whole chickens. This is the first chicken we’ve seen since March so happy days! The people who happened by this past week had a pleasant surprise. This week, not only did we receive whole chickens, we also received parts and pieces which was a surprise. Christy had told us to expect whole chickens for a while but getting breasts and thighs and wings was welcome news. We only have some much of the cut pieces but we are well stocked on whole birds.
Goat and rabbit are still in stock. They are limited quantities as always but we do have them on hand.
Raw milk, as always, is well stocked. We continue to get requests from people to “hold some milk” for them. We simply don’t do this. Too many times we’ve gotten stuck with milk for people who never showed up. I’m sorry. We also get inquiries about why we don’t just get more milk since we run out every week, especially from new customers who want to buy 3-5 gallons at once (which we also don’t do). We are limited by how much milk the cows can physically produce each week. That seems to surprise people when I explain that. If we could get more milk, I’d be limited by how much milk I can physically store in the fridge at our dairy farm. If we bought another fridge there, I’d be physically limited by how much milk I can carry on our freezer trailer. Trust me, we put all the milk in the store that we can, every week.
We brought in a cow last Friday to finally get some beef back in stock. By Saturday the freezer was already looking sad. It was crazy busy as everyone waited to show up when beef was back in stock. Luckily we have another cow going shortly so we should be ok for the next little while.
Pork continues to be well stocked, although it is from our partner farm and not our pigs. The good needs is that means pork is 20% off and it is available.
Chicken is going to be this week! When I met Christy to pick it up. She explained that she meant “I’m going to start processing chickens this week. You can’t have any till next week. Ugh! We still have guinea hen and rabbit a plenty right now so we’ll be fine till next week when chicken shows back up. When it does, they will be whole chickens only for a while.
Milk is well stocked. A little less raw this week than last week, but we actually had 1.5 gallons left over from last week so we had more than we needed.
Goat was supposed to come in this week. But your farmer is a forgetful idiot and forgot to get it when he was at the farm picking up the milk. It will be next week.
Lastly, some of the freezer pics look a bit dark. I was in a terrible hurry and didn’t turn on the lights in the store to take the pics. Thought they’d be ok. Didn’t realize till now they weren’t. There is more product in their than it looks.
Out latest piglets are growing well. One of our customers is raising them this time so I’m getting update emails from him, which are awesome. They made me smile. I hope they make you smile.
Just got word from our processor. We WILL have beef in the store on Friday. I’m going to go pick it up and we’ll be able to get it put away prior to opening on Friday so for those of you who are waiting to see if beef shows, it will be there.
See you Friday (and Saturday)