Edible Bozeman

Preserving the Legacy of Agriculture

Amsterdam Meat Shop

Amsterdam Meat Shop was started in 1945 by Pete and Dick DeGroot and has been in business ever since. It is currently the only state-inspected processing facility within a 70-mile radius of Bozeman and is now owned and operated by the Feddes family.

Feddes Family Meats was officially started in 2020 but our family has been raising cattle in the Gallatin Valley for ninety-five years. When the opportunity arose to purchase the Amsterdam Meat Shop in the summer of 2020, we knew we couldn’t pass it up. Through the shop, we sell meat sourced within 100 miles of Bozeman from animals that were raised humanely, never received hormones, and if antibiotics were needed they were used in a responsible manner (meaning antibiotics are only used on animals that need them, rather than mass treating an entire herd). In addition to beef, we also process and sell locally grown pork, lamb, goat, bison, and alpaca.

The meat industry has many challenges facing it today and going forward. Labor is a significant issue. Meat cutting is not only a trade but an art that has been nearly lost in today’s society. Very few of our employees had previous experience with butchery before their first day of work. Luckily, we have been able to retain several cutters who are experienced and have a knack for teaching others who are willing to learn.

Economy of scale is another industry challenge. Th e majority of the meat available at the grocery store is processed at huge out-of-state facilities that have the ability to process up to 6,500 animals a day. Amsterdam Meat Shop processes twenty to thirty animals per week. The large facilities have a significant amount of automation, while our shop relies on manual labor. Normally that would mean meat is cheaper at the grocery store than at our shop; however, since the start of the pandemic, shutdowns at the large facilities have reduced the meat supply, which has driven up grocery-store prices. Meanwhile, our supply hasn’t been affected by the pandemic because we are raising our own beef or purchasing our other meats from producers around the valley. We are seeking to make ranching more viable by paying local producers a premium for their animals.

Despite industry challenges, there are also significant opportunities. One of our goals and missions as a family and as a business is to increase our community’s education and knowledge about agriculture. This includes the younger generations, but also people moving into our community who have never been exposed to animal agriculture or crop production. Oftentimes, consumers are three or four generations removed from agriculture and all they know is what they see on TV or read in the news.

To increase consumer education, we opened up a retail space shortly after purchasing the Amsterdam Meat Shop. This brings customers face-to-face with our butchers. Knowing where the meat comes from and talking to the people who prepare it gives many of our customers a sense of security that what they are feeding their families was humanely raised in a way that is good for the environment. We plan to expand our retail space further with a deli and espresso bar, and also by offering local produce and products from local artisans as a sort of made-in-Montana mecca. Also, we frequently give tours to chefs from area restaurants who want to feature local meat on their menus.

The Amsterdam Meat Shop is a thriving local business not only producing local meat, but helping to keep agriculture a viable livelihood for the many farmers and ranchers in southwest Montana. This area has a long history of agriculture and it is our goal to help that legacy continue into the future.

Related Posts