Brian and Nicole always dreamed of having a big cow/calf ranch (isn't that what you do in Texas?) and having ranch-raised kids. Neither of them grew up on family ranches or were lucky enough to inherit one. When the opportunity came to piece 3 tracts together to make a 400-acre ranch, they knew they found their ranch.
Before we moved to the ranch, Brian worked full time in the oil and gas industry as a safety director and Nicole was a full-time labor and delivery nurse. We originally thought we would just spend our weekends at the ranch checking cows and building fences. We quickly realized we couldn't do all of these things well and needed to make a change.
Brian and Nicole decided to totally change paths and jump into entrepreneurship full-time. This meant we had to make some big changes and even bigger sacrifices. We both quit our full-time jobs to focus on this opportunity. It was scary, this was the only livelihood we knew. Without looking back, we sold our just built brick home we worked so hard for and the four of us moved into our camper. There was an old home on the ranch that the four of us started remolding slowly as we wanted to pay cash as we went. This process took 5 months. At the end of the five months, we wanted to burn the camper down and never stay in another.
The four of us were working hard every day to produce quality calves to take to the sale. The problem was the market always controlled the price. It never failed when we were selling, prices were down and when making purchases, prices were up. Brian and I knew this wasn't going to keep us in business very long. So we had to find a new path and create a business from scratch to sustain our livelihood. So, we started selling our meat directly to the consumer.
We started selling our meats, the four of us worked so hard to raise, at several farmers' markets. We thought this would be a great way to jump-start our sales and grow our business early. Then we started personally delivering to our customer's homes. Sometimes we would be gone for 14 hours making deliveries and Brayden and Bayli would stay at the ranch to care for all the animals. Brian and I knew that wasn't sustainable for us because we needed to be at the ranch, not traveling all the time to sell our meat. The answer seemed to lie in shipping our meats directly to customers and finding customers who appreciate high quality, well-raised meats.
Shipping meat is no easy task, it took us over a year. But with lots of research, trial & error, and lots of mistakes we have a system in place to ship our meats to 18 different states across the US and still growing!