Innovative makes the cut in the local-food scene
The numerous cuts of beef, pork or lamb it processes end up wrapped in plastic, awaiting pickup by customers who brought the meat to the small facility in the first place.
Dave Ellicott and his wife, Tami, bought the business from Hoffman Meats in 2007. It's a blip on the map compared to Greeley-based giant JBS USA Beef, but Innovative Foods is thriving by serving a completely different market: people who prefer natural and locally raised meat.
Tami Ellicott considers her work a continuation of family tradition. Her grandparents processed their own meat, never ate fast-food and lived until their mid-90s.
She believes meat processed the old-fashioned way is healthier and will continue to gain favor among consumers.
"Everybody used to raise their own or get it from the neighbors," she said. "Now it's these big feed yards and you don't know where they came from, the genetics on them."
An estimated 375,000 to 425,000 head of cattle nationwide are produced under a natural-product regime, about 4.4 percent of total beef sales, according to the Agricultural
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