“No matter what else we do or believe, food remains at the center of every culture.” - Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

August 2007

A new taste sensation when beer meets brat

Two local favorites are pairing up in a bang-up new sausage. The Bristol Beer Brat from Ranch Foods Direct combines Callicrate Beef and natural Heritage Acres or Niman pork with Bristol Brewing's award-winning Laughing Lab Scottish Ale. “We decided if we were going to have a beer brat, it should have local beer in it,” Mike Callicrate says.

Likewise, Mike Bristol, the owner of Bristol Brewing Co., a fun pub located next to the Blue Star restaurant on South Tejon, is a hip microbrewer who likes to keep things local too. (Visit www.bristolbrewing.com.) The result is their shared take on the European tradition of celebrating great malt flavor in a moist meaty sausage, introduced just in time for tailgating season.

The new brats are being made by Continental Sausage Co. in Denver, playfulled dubbed “the best of the wurst,” a second generation family-owned business with the finest reputation for sausage-making in the Rocky Mountain West. Taste the results of this exciting collaboration, available this month, at Ranch Foods Direct.

For more featured products and monthly specials, visit our ON-LINE STORE.

Made from scratch - with the greatest of ease
MealMAKERS does the shopping, chopping and prep

Restaurant meals - laden with fat, prepared in ways we can't monitor and often featuring ingredients that are hard to trace to their source - are the bane of the time-pressed who still want to eat healthy meals and serve only the best for their families. Convenience foods pose similar problems.

Some new concepts in the food business are aimed at solving these dilemmas. One example is mealMAKERS, the business started by Joe and Cathy Durst. “We do all of the shopping, chopping and prepping for you,” Joe says. He and his wife operate three franchise locations in Colorado Springs with the option to open two more.

They are the only meal-prep business locally that includes Callicrate Beef in its menus. The response? “The people who try us say our portions are bigger and the quality's better,” Joe says. “Ranch Foods Direct has been a big help to us. Our customers in Colorado Springs are so health conscious. And this beef is so much better than anything we can get from Sysco (the large national food service company that supplies other franchise locations across the country.)”

CLICK HERE  to learn more about MealMAKERS and this growing segment of the food business.

Barbecue bonanza
Shop owners share the thrill of the grill
Surrounded by Old Colorado City's casual artsy atmosphere, your inner cook will find one shop that really stands out. The minute you walk up to the Barbeque Mercantile it's a feast for the senses: smoke rises from the grills framing the doorway and inside are tables draped with lights and party memorabilia, shelves of grilling sauces, books and magazines, unusual cooking utensils and flavored woods.

“We bought our first Traeger grill eight years ago, and I absolutely fell in love with it,” says Kathy Bousquet, the energetic proprietor who started this shop from scratch. After leaving a 20-plus career in corporate sales and management, she knew what she had to do: open a barbecue store. “They say the first year is the hardest, but I think the second one is harder. We've just been growing so fast. I had to bring my husband on board to help me out,” she says enthusiastically.

Barbeque Mercantile and Ranch Foods Direct are both dynamic enterpreneurial companies, so it isn't surprising that the two have already developed a happy alliance. The Merc provided Ranch Foods' headquarters on El Paso with a demostration grill and promotes Callicrate Beef, with the intention that backyard grillers enjoy a winning experience with a reliably consistent product. “It's always top quality. The flavor is wonderful. It's fabulous,” Kathy says of Callicrate Beef. “It's a good product that's local.” Her opinion carries weight: Kathy has made a name for herself as a local barbecuing expert.

CLICK HERE to read more about the Barbeque Mercantile.

Eat out… and eat well!

Is there a better place in the world to go for hamburgers and milkshakes than Cy's Drive-In on the west side of Colorado Springs? Hard to imagine it. While standing the test of time, the place is also enjoying a recent facelift, with new signage, coloful umbrellas and fresh paint. For a list of other dining establishments that serve meat from Ranch Foods Direct, CLICK HERE and plan your next outing.

Did you know? ...

… Variety is the spice of life. But believe it or not, studies show that one out of five Americans live on a diet of ten foods or fewer.

…Today, 93 percent of American farm households have negative farm operating profits and draw most of their income from off-farm sources, according to the Economic Research Service.

In the recipe box
Summer cooking: fresh and easy

Summer's at its peak! Here are a couple of entrees that feature tender roast beef or nutrient-packed Alaskan salmon. Plus, made-from-scratch basil-infused lemonade provides a summer thirst quencher. CLICK HERE for recipes.

A customer raves

“I was in you store this past Saturday for the first time. I was amazed at the meat selection and attentive service. I bought some sirloin and chuck steaks as well as a tri-tip, and some chicken. I called a friend and while I was talking to him he asked me if I wanted to come over and have dinner. We could grill up the steaks, and he would get some hotdogs for the kids. I told him not to: that I would go back and get some from Ranch Foods Direct because several people had said while I was waiting to pay that they were the best hotdogs they ever had. Well, we cooked them all up and everyone was amazed at how good the dogs were and my friend commented that the chuck steak was tastier and more tender than any more expensive cut he had ordered from several good restaurants. So I just wanted to let you know I'll be purchasing all of my meat from you in the future. Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your good business practices, and meat.”
- Robert Lemke

“Abundance is not so much something to acquire, but something to tune into.”
- Anonymous

... Your local source of
natural beef, poultry,
buffalo, pork, lamb, eggs,
wild seafood, deli meats
and cheeses, meals
and more!

Member, Peak to Plains Alliance

Store and Meat Plant
2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907
Summer Hours:
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328


Mike Callicrate, Owner

Please note: You can subscribe to the RFD newsletter or sign up for the birthday club at the Ranch Foods Direct website www.ranchfoodsdirect.com or in our stores.

This newsletter is published by: Candace Krebs Writing, Editing, Photography, Design - Candace Krebs is a freelance writer and communications specialist. Contact her at candacejk@aol.com.

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