Moo-ve over, Seamless, a new type of food is ready for delivery.
When CustomMade.com co-founder Michael Salguero wanted to start eating 100 percent grass-fed beef, he realized it wasn’t that easy to come by.
Adapting a healthier and cleaner diet with his wife, Salguero, who currently lives near Boston, purchased an eighth of a cow from a family-owned farm in upstate New York.
“It was like a trash bag full of meat,” Salguero recounted of his first partial cow purchase.
They ate the grass-fed beef quickly and the next year purchased half a cow.
Three years in, the Salgueros bought a whole cow and sold shares to friends and neighbors.
“People said the meat was amazing quality, and it would be great to get at their houses,” Salguero said.
“This sparked something in my head, and I wanted to figure out how to ship this to a door.”
The entrepreneurial spirit led Salguero to connect with Ron Eike, who had worked as director of operations at Omaha Steaks, a Nebraska-based meat shipping company.
“He helped us move forward,” Salguero said.
After learning how to safely ship meat, Salguero tested his new service, ButcherBox, with friends and family and began a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new entity, which would deliver 100 percent, grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef to customers’ doors.
With an end date of Oct. 8, ButcherBox has already exceeded its goal of $25,000. To date, 803 backers have donated almost $150,000.
And in return, meat! Donations of $129 or more earn an exclusive ButcherBox kit.
“I really think we hit a nerve with the American consumer,” Salguero said. He didn’t expect the Kickstarter to be so successful, especially as quickly.
“There’s a demand out there that people really want this type of product and don’t know where to go to get it.”
Salguero only expects ButcherBox to grow from here, with the goal of exposing as many people as possible to the concept of 100 percent grass-fed meat.
“I’m providing a service that is missing in the market,” said Salguero.
ButcherBox currently works with a collective of farms raising cattle on pesticide-free grass, and hopes to soon expand to more farms and different animals, after vetting the animal-raising practices, of course.
“We’re working with farmers who have done this for a while,” Salguero said. “100 percent grass-fed is not as easy as letting your cattle continue to eat grass and call it a day, there are some practices behind it that help make a superior beef.”
Beyond superiors taste, Salguero says that studies confirm health benefits of grass-fed meat, including lower saturated fat and higher Omega-3s.
ButcherBox’s meat arrives frozen or very cold, but Salguero says the greatest challenge is quantity over quality, which he knows is good.
“I don’t want people opening the box and not having enough meat, or, the alternative, having too much meat.”
Early ButcherBox subscribers will help determine the future of the company. Those who want to try a shipment of grass-fed beef can donate on Kickstarter by Thursday, Oct. 8.