A small business specializing in the aging of beef will be able to expand operations with a new processing facility thanks to a $100,000 investment made possible by the Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN).
Mountain Steer Meat Company of White Sulphur Springs makes West Virginia raised and processed beef available to local grocery stores, markets, and restaurants. By having its own processing facility in the target area, the company can provide a variety of fresh beef products to area residents and merchants immediately after packaging.
“The beauty of this investment is that Mountain Steer started with us as a client of the West Virginia Hive to seek help with its business plan, marketing, and logistics, and in a short time they have successfully secured a healthy investment to significantly expand operations,” said Judy Moore, Managing Director of CRAN and Executive Director of the WV Hive. “This represents true success for the business ecosystem we were seeking to develop when the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and WV Hive secured U.S. Department of Commerce funding to start CRAN.”
James Tuckwiller, CEO of Mountain Steer, founded the company in June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. He and Frank Ford, Partner and Manager of Transportation and Processing, took a big step back from their family farms to form Mountain Steer.
Tuckwiller, who along with Ford has experience working on family farms in southern West Virginia, said the opportunity to start Mountain Steer came when supply chains were disrupted by COVID-19 and led to a beef shortage in West Virginia. “Our farms were dependent on facilities in other states to process meat from our cattle,” he said. “Steer born and raised in our region was processed and packaged out of state, only to be brought back to West Virginia for sale. Our goal at Mountain Steer is to simplify operations and provide a processing facility right in our area, ensuring our customers pay reasonable prices and enjoy knowing what they are consuming is locally-grown, superior beef from start to finish.”
Mountain Steer has recently hired one full-time and another part-time employee, and this investment will allow the small business to hire a butcher and several more support personnel. “Our new processing facility and expanded capabilities will be fully realized in Spring 2022,” said Tuckwiller.
Kevin Combs, chairman of CRAN, said “We are ecstatic that James and Frank of Mountain Steer Meat Company came to the WV Hive and ultimately our angel investment network to help them with their timely business ideas. I know there are dozens of other savvy business owners throughout West Virginia who could use our helping hand. CRAN can only invest in the ideas brought to our attention.”
The Country Roads Angel Network is West Virginia’s only certified angel investment network, and it can make investments in all 55 counties of the state.
CRAN operates under the umbrella of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), which serves four counties in southern West Virginia and is administered by the West Virginia Hive, a 12-county entrepreneurial support program of the NRGRDA. CRAN is made up of investors largely native to the Mountain State who now are scattered across the country. Members are dedicated to the betterment of West Virginia and hope their investments will generate various levels of positive impact.
Contact Peyton Ballard, Associate Director of CRAN and Manager of Entrepreneurship Initiatives at NRGRDA, at [email protected] or 304-608-CRAN (2726) for more information about investment opportunities or becoming a CRAN investor member.