Ranch to Butcher to Table
Jackson Hole is blessed with many terrific attributes, which is why we are thankful to call this valley home. The ones that come to mind quickly are snowshoeing, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, fat biking, horseback riding, and fishing, to name a few.
One activity that Jacksonities and Wyominities take very seriously is preparing delicious meals. Thankfully, Sweet Cheeks Meats calls Jackson Hole home too.
Nora and Nick, the owners of Sweet Cheeks Meats, started the business back in June 2015, at the Saturday Jackson Hole Farmers Market selling breakfast sandwiches for their loyal customers. “The lifeblood of the company is to sell locally produced meat to our customers,” says Nick. We source our meat from a half dozen to a dozen farms and ranches depending on the time of year.”
Sustainability is at the forefront of Sweet Cheeks Meat’s mission. They are adamant that every inch of the animal is used in the store one way or another. Whether that be how they prepare the dog treats for sale on the checkout counter or the fryers that run on beef fat, which gives the flavor to their world-famous tater tots. The meat that does not sell in the front of the shop in a timely manner becomes their mouthwatering smash burgers.
The Robinson Family Farm and Ranch in the Star Valley, Wyoming, was the first connection for Nora and Nick. This connection was made before the butcher shop, when they strictly sold at Jackson Hole’s Farmers Market. From the Robinson Farm and Ranch, connections with local ranchers were made one by one. In 2020, the meat can be sourced from Teton or Star Valley and at the foothill of the Big Horn Mountains in Ten Sleep, Wyoming.
According to Nick, “the reason that the meat has so much flavor is the longer life of the cattle, free-range and the humane efforts to naturally raise the animals.” Sweet Cheeks Meats purchases their meat at hanging price, therefore they have the ability to adjust the prices of all the meat in the shop. This process allows the consumer to pay for their meat from one animal instead of multiple, which often happens when purchasing ground beef found in grocery stores.
By the time that Thanksgiving rolls around each year, the Sweet Cheeks Team ends up cooking roughly 250 turkeys for the Jackson Hole community. It is safe to say, after cooking that many turkeys, Nora and Nick, enjoy a non-traditional thanksgiving meal before meeting up with their incredible staff for their big turkey day meal, which includes all the sides and lots of gravy. Dumplings are usually what they fill their belly’s with, “because we can always find an appetite for endless amounts of dumplings,” says Nick.
The Sweet Cheeks Meats Team has many items to be thankful for, with the first being the community they serve. Whether that be the farmer and rancher or the loyal patrons that walk in the shop. Nora adds that, “I’m thankful for the crew around us. Especially for their willingness for the long hours they are happy to clock in, and they always do it with smiles on their faces.”
In their fifth year of business, Sweet Cheeks Meats had to change their operations protocol to adapt to the ever-changing safety precautions around Covid-19. Nick is extremely grateful for the cooperativeness from customers adapting to the changes so that they can stay open during the pandemic.
In their butcher shop, sausage is a top seller as they sell by the link versus buying a five or six-pack at the grocery store. At 185 Scott Lane in the heart of beef country, known as Wyoming, ground beef is another top seller that “walks out the door.”
We at Live Water Properties are incredibly thankful to have a butcher shop so close to our headquarters that supports local farmers and ranchers with similar sustainability efforts.