How Rock Hill Bravo Steaks Farm Avoids Supply Chain Problems
The couple have been raising cattle for years and supplying meat to friends when news broke and they realized they had a bigger business on their hands.
ROCK HILL, SC — A Rock Hill farm has found a way to circumvent national supply chain issues and ensure food gets to people — and the COVID-19 pandemic has blown their new business.
RELATED: “Buy It When You See It” | Retailers fear holiday shortages
Emily and John Barnes are probably not what most people imagine when they think of farmers. Their Rock Hill Farm and Bravo Steaks business Instagram account takes you behind the scenes of farm life.
The couple have been raising cattle for years and supplying meat to friends. After word of their meat production spread, they realized they had a bigger business on their hands.
“We send our cattle to a USDA-inspected butcher and give the butcher instructions on what we want to cut, and then we collect the frozen meat,” Emily Barnes explained. “It’s been inspected, and then we’re selling it directly to individuals in a number of different ways.”
They launched their first public sales in 2019.
“COVID has helped us a lot to grow our business and we haven’t looked back,” John Barnes said. “People stayed home. Grocery stores emptied. So they came to us and our business grew.”
In fact, their business quadrupled from 2019 to 2020. Emily Barnes said the trend has continued this year.
“It was a good thing,” she said.
Delivery directly from the farm
And now, with supply chain issues, Bravo Steaks is in even greater demand. They have teamed up with national distributor Market Wagon – another company set up by farmers – to fulfill orders.
Market Wagon sources everything, including baked goods, meat and milk, locally and delivers it directly to customers’ doors. Their workflow avoids the supply chain issues seen elsewhere in the economy.
“What people have learned during the pandemic is that a local supply chain is much more resilient,” said Nick Carter, CEO and founder of Market Wagon, who also grew up on his family’s farm. . “Your local food isn’t going to get stuck on a container ship outside the Port of LA.”
RELATED: Shopping at Dollar Chains Can Save You Money, But You’re Sacrificing This Aspect
Market Wagon has also seen success with growth from six cities in March 2020 to nearly 40 cities a year later. They take care of all the transport and logistics. This allows farmers like Emily and John to stick to what they know – and customers get the food they want when they want it.
The Barnes said domestic supply chain issues have increased their cost of operation: animal feed has increased by 100% and on the shipping side, ice packs have increased by 500%.
Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to to start your day with the Wake Up Charlotte team.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Embroiderer || Login || Google Podcasts
All WCNC Charlotte podcasts are free and available to stream and download. Now you can listen on Android, iPhone, Amazon and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina or anywhere.