Shop strives to ‘meat’ customer needs & inspire cooking, grilling
When it came to starting a business, Casey Remmers and business partner Troy Grocott were eager to “steak a claim” in Hartford. And, they have literally done just that with their retail meat business Creekside Meats, which opened to the community in October 2021.
The business specializes in cutting and selling fresh beef, pork, poultry, lamb and some seafood, with a meat case featuring an array of steaks, chops, roasts, chicken breasts, sausage, bratwurst and more. Creekside Meats also features prepared foods to go, provides catering services, and offers some custom processing including wild game.
“We chose to start our business in Hartford because the city has seen a lot of growth, and it’s a perfect-size community where you can get to know your customers,” Casey says, who grew up in the neighboring town of Salem. He notes that officials with the City of Hartford were also great to work with as they built their 4,000 square foot facility next to Hartford’s Fire Hall.
Casey works in the business daily. He says a highlight has been providing high quality meat products to customers and seeing customers come back for more.
Casey’s foray into the food business began as a youngster when his parents owned a steakhouse in Orient, which is in the northeast portion of South Dakota. This led to his passion for cooking, and over the years he and Troy often cooked at various events. Now, the hope is that through their business venture they’ll inspire customers to spend more time cooking and grilling good food for family and friends.
Inside Creekside Meats there’s a family atmosphere, as well. Casey’s wife Sheila, two teenage sons, and his parents all work part time in the business – as does Troy’s college-age daughter and high school-age son. Casey takes pride in the work ethic it is building among the teens.
“Instead of asking how long they have to work, they ask ‘What’s on the list to get done?’” he shares.
Remmers and two others work full time in the business, including Mike Fitzmaurice who has been their full-time meat cutter since Creekside Meats opened its doors.
“Mike has brought a lot of knowledge and talent,” recognizes Remmers. He also values Bob Eich, a local community member who had butcher shop knowledge, for sharing advice and tips with the Creekside Meats team.
To supply their store, Casey and Troy have focused on sourcing meats from the Midwest, including DemKota in Aberdeen and suppliers from surrounding states.
Additionally, Creekside Meats stays open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday to better serve the community and its many residents who commute for work. It’s just one more key ingredient to offering a good place to get a good meal.
Golden West has been key to their business efforts, as well. Creekside Meats uses the internet for online ordering via email and a Google sheet, Casey says. The business relies on the internet for all its sales transactions. It also has a presence online at creeksidemeats.com and shares featured specials via Facebook and Instagram.
Casey’s relationship with Golden West runs deeper than the internet service it provides. He appreciates Golden West’s excellent local customer service and the cooperative membership aspect of Golden West.
“Every one of the people that works at Golden West is a customer of mine,” Casey says. “I’m a customer of theirs, and they’re a customer of mine. Anytime you’re a part of a co-op, it’s nice, because you have a voice and you’re a part of it and not just a number out there.”