Rural By Choice Schenker Family Farms and McCune Farm to Market invest in SEK – while serving customers around the world
It was 2008. Cherie Schenker logged on to Craigslist, a relatively new website at the time, to advertise a quarter of Schenker Family Farms’ grass-fed beef to local consumers.
It didn’t work.
“Somehow, it ended up going on the Craigslist in Orange County, California,” she says with a laugh. “But then – someone called.”
And someone else called. Then someone else. Quickly, Cherie and her husband, Kevin, realized: There’s a huge market for this.
“We needed a website and we needed to figure out how to ship this stuff,” Cherie says. “Necessity is the mother of invention … and we just kind of got propelled into it from there.”
Where they’ve landed 10 years later is one of the largest direct-marketing livestock operations in the state of Kansas. They sell their meat – all-natural, humanely raised beef, lamb, poultry and pork – to customers locally, across the state and throughout the country, including in every Whole Foods store in Kansas, the Kansas City metropolitan area and New Mexico. They developed a proprietary shipping container in 2009 and continue to ship their meat overseas to soldiers (their first shipment arrived to Afghanistan one week before Kevin did; he was deployed there for a little over a year). And they recently celebrated the one-year birthday of McCune Farm to Market, a small grocery store and café that sells fresh meat, locally grown produce, pantry staples and the Schenkers’ take-and-bake meals…
Want to keep reading about Schenker Family Farms and McCune Farm to Market? Check out the fall issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.