Michelle and Steve Burnett had been looking for a career change for a long time. So when they hear Broken Bow Pack was for sale, they decided it was a chance worth taking.
“I went home and told Steve the butcher shop was closing, and he said 'Do you want to buy it?’,” Michelle recalled with a smile. “I looked at him and said, ‘Are you serious?’ So we decided to give it a shot.”
The new owners hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce Monday afternoon.
Though running a butcher shop is something new to both of them, they do have a strong background. Steve has been around cattle all his life - he has always been involved in FFA, and milked cows for 20 years. Michelle has a little more of an idea what to expect in the business as she worked in a meat packing plant “many moons ago.”
The couple is also getting help from some well qualified and experienced sources. Bob Lorenz brings years of meat cutting experience to the business, and serves as the head of processing and takes care of the retail meat counter.
Though Steve did already know how to butcher, he has been picking up some valuable tips and advice from former owner Lowell Bailey, who has been kind enough to stop in once in awhile to visit.
The couple purchased the business in July, and opened for business Sept. 1. Michelle says a lot of work went into the shop before the doors were opened to the public. The freezers were all redone, the entire building was rewired and all new compressors were installed.
Steve says what he likes best about the career change already is the fact that he gets to spend more time with his family.
“Milking is a 24-7 job,.” The Burnett’s have seven children: Andrea, 25, lives with her new husband and daughter in New Jersey; Christopher, 21, is in the National Guard; Tony, 19, serves full time in the U.S. Army stationed in Korea; Alex, 18, works for a local farmer; Tara, 16; Meghan, 10 and Andrew, 7. To put it mildly, they keep the couple very busy.
Bow Pack offers butchering services, custom processing and retail meats. They also offer locker rentals, beef and pork bundles year round and smoked products. Michelle says party platters will also be offered for the holidays. Hours for the pack are 8:30 to 6 Monday through Friday, and Saturday by appointment.
So far, the Burnett’s say they are thoroughly enjoying their new career.
“What I have been most surprised at is how busy we are,” says Michelle. “And Steven has enjoyed it more than either of us thought he would.”
“Anything is better than milking,” Steve laughs.