Customer Spotlight – Home Butchering Supplies
A small retail store and mail order business known as Home Butchering Supplies, LLC., may be located in a rural farming and lumbering district in northern Wisconsin, but its reach is nationwide.
“We are a one-stop shop for the home processor,” says Durrel Horst, co-owner. “We offer a complete line of small and large equipment, seasonings, and packaging for meats of all kinds. Our niche is the career or hobby farmer that raised a few hogs or beef during the summer, and hangs it up in the winter, along with home deer processing.”
A bit of history
Home Butchering Supplies was founded by Horst’s partner, Elwood Derstine, in 2010. Five years later, Horst joined Derstine as co-owner. It’s a seasonal business with eight to twelve people on staff – many of them family members – working five to six days a week from October through February. The company is steeped in customer service that Horst says is important to the people they serve locally and across the U.S.
“An emerging market right now is the small custom butcher who struggles to get any of the big wholesalers (our suppliers) to look at him,” he says. “Most of our customers do not use the internet, therefore our annual catalog is highly-valued. We aim to ship orders within 24 hours and our phones are answered live by knowledgeable staff during business hours.”
Horst says the retail outlet sells more than 100 different kinds of seasoning mixes for various kinds of meats and offers a wide variety of packaging options. Excalibur Seasoning has been with the company since its inception.
“Excalibur kind of came with the business,” Horst admits. “We purchase more than 140 different products from them and add several new items every year. Excalibur is the only supplier we consider for these. We also special order many others for small butcher and meat shops who are unable to work directly with Excalibur because of volume requirements.”
Horst says one of his principles in doing business is “if his vendor is happy, he’s happy.” It’s critical to Home Butchering Supplies to partner with those who share many of the same core values.
Thank you, Rick
“My sales representative, Rick McLimans, understands and operates by the same values and that makes them an excellent partner to grow with. They hear my concerns and address them as soon as possible.”
Horst adds that good sales reps are hard to find and credits McLimans as a valued partner in assisting Home Butchering Supplies during the company’s rapid growth over the past several years.
“For instance, Excalibur has worked closely with us to replicate some of our private blends to help with supply chain issues that we were plagued with last season,” says Horst. “This continues to be a challenge, but I believe in the long run Excalibur will help see us through. They are committed to a high level of quality throughout their manufacturing processes, ensuring a quality product on my shelf.”
And the Excalibur products Horst says are among his favorites? Pit Smoked Pulled Pork Bratwurst, Honey BBQ Snack Sticks, and Sweet Maple Bacon Breakfast Sausage
“Any new seasonings we add to the retail lineup are taste-tested and approved by my family,” he quips. “If we really like it, it most likely will make our catalog.”