We live in an era where people want to know a lot more about the food they are consuming. However, not everyone has the ability or the space to raise their own meat. Purple Ribbon Beef in Wright County seeks to be a great way to fill that need and connect consumers from their fork to the farm where it was raised.
When I was in Clarion ion a recent Saturday, a friend of mine recommended that I stop into Purple Ribbon General Store on the east side of town on Highway 3. The general store currently only has Saturday hours for now but but the main element of the business, Purple Ribbon Beef, is also open for orders 24/7 on their website.
Upon visiting the store, I met owner Ashley Recknor.
Ashley is a young professional in town who grew up on an area farm. Through her years in 4-H and FFA, Ashley and her family had success showing cattle - thus earning many purple ribbons.
It's true that you can find quality products at your local grocery store, but if you want to order directly from a farmer or perhaps order a quarter, half, or even the full animal for your freezer - Purple Ribbon Beef seeks to be a convenient supplier.
However, they offer a wide array of individual cuts to customers all over the United States. A big part of their growing business is that they will ship it to you. You don't need to live nearby to enjoy to enjoy their award winning beef. You just need to visit their website.
They even offer subscription and gift boxes if you want to branch out and try some different options.
Inside the general store, you can buy meat directly from a freezer but they also offer a lot of other great products - many of which are produced or crafted by other Iowa entrepreneurs.
If you are looking for an interesting gift with an Iowa connection, there's a lot to choose from. Additionally, there are a lot of other antiques and primitives for sale as well.
There are some great cattle-hide handbags for sale. Very unique.
Purple Ribbon Beef is featured at several north Iowa restaurants and they also set up shop at a few local farmers' markets during the summer. They truly do offer a legitimate "farm to fork" experience.
I enjoyed my visit with Ashley and hope she and her family can continue to grow their business. I love it when Iowans take a passion and turn it into a viable business. It can be a real risk to start a business but these hardworking entrepreneurs are what make our economy grow.
Next time you are in the Clarion area on a Saturday, pop in to the general store to say hello. You may just leave with a tasty package of t-bones for the grill, a new cutting board, or perhaps some local honey, among many other options.