Rustic Cuts may sound like a hair salon, but Rustic Cuts Butcher Shop has proven a well-visited local meat distributor since the shop quietly opened last winter at 501 Veterans Memorial Highway, Council Bluffs.
“Rustic is a throwback to a time when there were butchers on every city block,” said Jake Driver, a fourth generation farmer and owner of Rustic Cuts.
“Cuts” was a reference to the different cuts and types of meat available at the shop, he said.
As a fourth generation farmer, Driver viewed that title as a family name and legacy, and wanted to continue into the fifth generation.
“It’s the longevity of our family farm over decades, to sustain our farms and family name ... that means a lot in the farming community — if you are able to survive the hard times,” he said.
All of the meat comes from local farms: Larson Family Farms, owned by Rick and Sheryl Larson; and Louis Farms, owned by Jake and Kristie Driver.
The four providers mentioned above are the owners of Rustic Cuts.
Jake and Rick both entered the business with generations of farming experience and wanted to distribute locally produced meat.
The idea to distribute came years ago when they saw no companies provided fresh product within 200 miles.
“The biggest thing we want to present to people is we have a product that is second-to-none and is locally sourced, “ he said. “We can almost tell you where everything is born. We can tell you how it was fed, how it was handled and how it was harvested; other retailers can’t tell you that.”
Meats provided at Rustic Cuts are harvested at the Wahoo Locker in Wahoo, Nebraska — an animal welfare-approved facility.
A variety of cuts of meat and flavors are available within multiple large refrigerators in the store.
This variety includes: beef, brats and sausages made in-house, chicken, lunch meats, pork, roasts, various cuts of steak and more.
All meats available were dry-aged from 14 to 21 days to maximize taste.
“I want the community to understand we bring the best possible product to them that we raise,” said Rick.
The shop also boasts 19 flavors of jerky.
Local beers, and dairy products from South Dakota, like various cheeses and butter from Dimock Cheese, are available in the refrigerated aisle next to the meat.
Produce like tomatoes, zucchini, onions or corn are provided by Wenninghoff’s Farm in Omaha.
Hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and French bread are made locally, with cinnamon rolls offered on the weekend.
Over 60 spices are displayed out of refrigeration due to customer demand.
Customers have also proven the biggest surprise to the owners as multiple owners had seen a large amount of support from the community.
“Customers have been awesome,” Kristie said. “There have been times they’ve had to wait in line to get to the counter, and whenever I apologize for the wait they always say ‘I’m just happy you’re busy.’”
The opening was quiet as the owners were unsure what to expect, according to Kristie.
Since then, the store has been open for almost a year and distributes meat to The Dock Bar and Grill, The Porch and 712.
Rustic Cuts differentiates it’s meats from distributors like large grocery chains by removing steps like packers, cold storage, distribution and retailers
“Our meat goes from the farm to the store to the table, rather than being frozen or anything like that,” Kristie said.
Although prices may be slightly higher than chain grocery stores, their meat is fresh and competitively priced, she said.
Rustic Cuts is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Customers are welcome to call ahead to have their order ready. Otherwise, Kristie said, most product is available for purchase.
“The main goal was to get good meat to the market for a good price so everybody could enjoy,” she said.