Rouses promotes local meats with in-store signs. The local farmers and ranchers also visit store locations for sampling and demos.
Beef was the retailer’s first foray into local meat. “And we had such a great response from our customers that we started exploring even more local meats that we could take and bring to our marketplace,” said Breuhl.
Rouses is the only grocery store to sell pork and duck from Chappapeela Farms.
In addition to traditional pork cuts, the retailer makes a green onion sausage and hickory smoked bacon from the Chappapeela hogs. “And that’s probably some of the best bacon that you will ever eat,” said Breuhl.
Before Rouses began selling lamb and goat from Royal Farms, Breuhl took the retailer’s market managers to see how the animals were slaughtered and processed — a new experience for some.
“So not only did we get the buy-in from the customers, but we also got the buy-in from our people at the store level by doing that and going through the training. And it also helped with education for our market staff to allow them to communicate to the customer,” said Breuhl.
Goat has proved popular with the Hispanic and Muslim communities. In the first month it was offered, half a dozen customers placed orders for whole goats.