Kansas City-based River Watch Beef recently announced an expansion of their regional delivery service to include all 48 contiguous states. Chris Kovac, founder of the food startup, said that beef and commodity markets can be hard to anticipate so to solve that problem, the company takes their product directly to consumers.
“Our goal at River Watch Beef is to conveniently deliver exceptional beef, on par with fine dining, for about the same price as your local butcher,” said Kovac. “It can be difficult to find quality all-natural grass-fed beef, much less have it delivered.”
Kovac said that River Watch Beef is focused on supporting other local, family-owned businesses and providing a quality product with a transparent production process.
“To maintain strict quality standards, we manage the entire process, from raising animals to processing, packaging and finally delivery to the consumer,” said Kovac. “Once we have the supply chain optimized, then we can potentially partner up with our friends and family [which] would allow us to scale, but we want to do so very carefully.”
River Watch Beef also offers a Grass Fed Beef Club subscription service, which recurs monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. But Kovac said that maintaining quality is the first priority.
“We’re not really marketing the subscription model yet, we really want to get our beef in front of people who may not have access to grass-fed beef,” said Kovac. “[Then] we would move them into a subscription model. Our first goal is to have people test out the quality, and then we’ll scale.”
Kovac said technology is supporting that scale and changing the food buying process.
“Years ago, several families would go in together and buy a whole cow and they would take it to a local processor, said Kovac. “Technology allows us to have multiple families share in one animal without needing [large amounts of] freezer space, and it’s become on-demand.”
Kovac is proud that his company is providing access to healthy, quality food to individuals and families that may not have been able to obtain it in the past. River Watch Beef’s cattle graze on natural and native grasses. The final products are 100 percent all-natural and contain no additives, hormones or GMOs, and are antibiotic free.
“It’s important for everyone to know where their food comes from,” said Kovac. “Most folks have no idea where their food comes from, how it’s produced or what’s in it. We should demand better.”
In the future, River Watch Beef is hoping to implement a technology that makes the food production process even more trackable and offers more insight to consumers about their food.
“We’re in talks to partner up with a couple different companies to essentially assign a barcode (to over simplify it) so you can track the animal processed with a photo and an ear tag,” said Kovac.
Kovac founded River Watch Beef with his father, an advertising entrepreneur. They seized an opportunity to buy a piece of property in Colorado ten years ago and together, have managed to independently grow the company to what it is today.
“We’re a family business. We haven’t taken any outside investment,” said Kovacs. “Throughout the whole process, all of our partners are family-owned businesses as well. It’s neighbors helping neighbors and families helping families.”
Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.