Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Kovac, partner and co-founder of River Watch Beef, located in Kansas City, KS.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At River Watch Beef, we raise 100% Natural Grass Fed Beef and deliver it direct to the customer's door. Our beef is delivered direct from our Kansas family farm and is literally pasture to fork. We offer premium steaks, a variety of roasts, ground beef, stew meat and over 20+ different cuts.
Our mission is to produce the highest quality beef and deliver it with exceptional service. We dry-aged our beef 14-21 days, resulting in a tender texture, robust flavor and deep color.
Our beef is free range, grass finished beef is a healthier option vs. most store-bought beef. No GMOs, Hormones or Antibiotics.
Our customers are folks looking for beef that is raised the 'old fashioned' way, in the pasture on natural grass. Most store bought beef may start in the pasture, but it's then brought to a dirty feedyard to be 'fattened up.' This is unhealthy for the animals, and us. Grass Finished beef is lower in fat, is rich in Omega-3s and has many essential minerals.
We conveniently and safely deliver our product direct to your doorstep.
Tell us about yourself
My previous career was in marketing, working with many Fortune 500 and well-known brands. My dad grew up on a small family farm in eastern Kansas and our family has always loved the outdoors.
In 2007, my dad (Pete) started raising beef in both Kansas and Colorado (River Watch Ranch). During vacations and time off, I would help my dad and our neighbors and friends take care of the cattle herd. The more time I spent with the hard-working cowboys, the more I loved it.
Each year, we'd process a few animals for family and friends. They would share some of the beef with their family and friends and people really loved it. Folks starting asking if they could purchase some of our beef and in 2016 we started River Watch Beef to sell and deliver premium beef direct to the consumer.
Our customers motivate us more than anything. Families trust us to put high-quality and nutritious food on their table and that is not something we take lightly. We also want to provide the absolute best customer service out there.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have around 100 5-star reviews on Facebook, Google and Yelp. 100% of our reviews are 5 stars and that means a lot to us. Our customers are fiercely loyal and also help us get the word out about what we are doing.
Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain issues may be our biggest accomplishment. Many small businesses like us were forced to close.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are a lot of sacrifices that business owners have to work through. There is only so much you can do each day, so prioritizing tasks can be difficult and sometimes hard choices have to be made. Often times, we sacrifice time with our families because people depend on us to deliver food for their family.
Building awareness for our business is also a challenge. There are many other competitors online and on social media and it's hard to cut through the cutter sometimes. My experience with advertising and marketing has helped us attract the right customers.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Commit your plan to writing. You probably don't need a full business plan, but documenting your plan with tools like Lean Canvas can help you identify your objectives and the elements needed to accomplish your goals.
- Find advisors that can be a soundboard - Creating an advisory board of 3-5 people will help you vet your ideas and go-to-market strategy. Think of them as your board of directors.
- Always be learning. There are a lot of great resources and tools out there that will help you harness the power of marketing and social media, technology that can automate processes and a lot of cool people doing cool things (in every industry).
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.