Farmer runs Grassy Cow meals truck as profitable household enterprise
Bruce Zollinger had an issue.
On the one hand he needed to be a farmer. Alternatively, he didn’t need to go broke.
Within the twenty first century, he discovered it onerous to be one with out the opposite.
He’d come by his love of farming actually, rising up on his mother and father’ farm in Tremonton, the place he discovered to like the land whereas experiencing the satisfaction that comes from rising issues that feed the world.
When it was time to go to school, he majored in worldwide agriculture at Utah State so he may change into an much more proficient farmer.
However then got here the snag. Shortly after marrying his “metropolis woman” spouse Julie — she’s from the metropolis of Orem — they returned to the farm in Tremonton, rolled a trailer onto the pasture and gave it a go on the household acreage. Quickly sufficient, it grew to become apparent there wasn’t sufficient farm to help all of them.
Bruce and Julie moved to Heber Metropolis to strike out on their very own. They leased some land, grew grass hay on it and introduced down some steers from Tremonton to fatten them up for market. When he wasn’t doing this, Bruce was additionally working landscaping jobs. He was a sorta farmer.
Then he had a brainstorm. Why not open a meals truck?
In his head, Bruce may hear old-time farmers muttering, “What’s a meals truck?” adopted by, “What sort of darn idiot sells his cows out of a meals truck?”
However this wasn’t 1950, and even 1990. The tempo of little farms getting phased out of existence, lengthy an issue, has accelerated. Nowadays you both personal appreciable acreage and do quite a lot of quantity, otherwise you give up and switch the decrease 40 into constructing heaps.
Otherwise you improvise and innovate.
Bruce and Julie had a number of good issues going for them. Due to a Division of Agriculture mortgage, they managed to purchase 14 acres of fine pasture land 5 miles east of Heber Metropolis, not far previous the Jack Nicklaus golf course. So that they had a headquarters. Along with that, they leased one other 30 or 40 acres to graze their cows.
The cows, who eat nothing however grass, are their ace within the gap. The cattlemen who informed Bruce you couldn’t fatten a calf on a weight loss plan of grass hay and nothing else — he proved them flawed.
His cows by no means see fermented corn silage, or grain, or common alfalfa for that matter. They aren’t feed lot cows. They’re 100% grass-fed, angus-mix, organic-as-they-come, premium beef cows.
Bruce says, “They give the impression of being extra like triathletes than sumo wrestlers.”
He will get about 20 new calves from his dad’s farm, fattens them up for a yr, takes them to the processing plant in Springville and turns them into hamburgers.
Nearly the entire cow goes into the hamburger meat, aside from the tenderloin and New York steaks. “Every thing else is within the burger,” says Bruce, “the brisket, the roast, the sirloin, even the prime rib goes again in.”
It’s been a few yr and a half for the reason that Zollingers determined to offer their meals truck plan a go. They ordered their truck, painted it with their emblem — The Grassy Cow, a reputation Julie thought up — obtained an internet site, and lucked out once they discovered their chef, Manuel Gonzalez, a person who ran a concession stand at a soccer stadium in Mexico earlier than transferring to Heber Metropolis.
Each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, Manuel drives the truck to its regular location subsequent to the tabernacle on Major Avenue, the place it parks with the opposite meals vans from 11 a.m. to three p.m. Past that, the truck is consistently being booked for particular occasions.
The remainder of Bruce and Julie’s employees are all youngsters: Anna, 17; Elise and Juliette, 15; and Ryan, 13 — aka their youngsters.
“We needed them to work and have an expertise and be taught to be entrepreneurial,” says Bruce. “The children have seen us take this from an thought to really making it occur. That’s taught them, hey, you’ll be able to go do something you need to do, you’ll be able to take an thought and see it by means of.”
Bruce remembers a time about 4 months into the endeavor when, all in the identical day, 4 new child calves joined the herd, 4 had been on their solution to Springville to be slaughtered, and so they bought 50 burgers out of the truck.
“The entire operation proper there, full circle, from begin to end. That’s like, epic,” he says.
The reception has been, to say the least, heartening.
“On daily basis,” says Bruce, “we’ll get someone say, ‘That’s the perfect burger I’ve ever had.’ That’s satisfying, if you may make someone blissful by means of a burger.”
Much more satisfying: He will get to make it for them.
“It’s turned out kinda neat with the meals truck,” he permits. “You don’t need to have a giant operation however you’ll be able to nonetheless survive.”
He exhales earlier than including, “As soon as farming’s in your blood, it’s actually onerous to get it out.”