#55: James Peisker – Co-Founder of Porter Road – Butcher – Quality Beef
James Peisker Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: All right, everybody, this is the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. I don’t know why I kind of say that. Any listeners have to think, this guy is like a tape recorder because every time I am, “This is-” No duh, we hit the listen button, we know it’s the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. Well, we’ve got a guest, his name is James Peisker. Right?
James Peisker: Peisker, close.
Neil Dudley: I don’t even know where I came up with that T. I think it was because I was nervous I was going to say it wrong, so I had to and then I could just admit, oh, yeah. The facts are a lot of the guests that come on the show, we aren’t best friends. We don’t really even know each other. I am aware of James and his business because they do really good things and they have similar ethics and expectations to what I have, we have at Pederson’s. But luckily, I knew a guy named Nick Michelle from years ago. We worked together a time or two. He’s now over at Porter Road. I was like, “Hey, can you get me in touch with your founders?” He said, “Well, let me give it a try.” Luckily, James said, sure, he’d be glad to come on the show. And now we all get to hear about Porter Road. And I typically like to try to skip this well, this is where we came from. Because the facts are, you can go to their website, Google Porter Road butcher, and you’re going to find it. Real quick, they have a great video of him and Chris talking about what Porter Road’s all about, how it started. Day one, they had 500 bucks in the bank account. I mean, it’s just this is a real entrepreneur on the show, and I don’t know that all the value lives in that beginning story. I mean, the value in their brand certainly does. And I want you all to go learn about that. Their brand is beautiful. It stands for something. That’s one reason I wanted to have him on the show. But I want to talk about the Monday morning fires and what the reality is for an entrepreneur or business owner. We were just talking before I hit record about how it we are recording on a Monday, and it is a typical Monday for James. So, tell us about that a little bit. What’s happening at Porter Road these days?
James Peisker: Well, so with everything, the world has changed dramatically over the last few years. And our philosophy and our ethos of delivering life changing meat has never changed over the past 12 years. And Chris and I really focus on making sure that everything in the system has a purpose and matters. And everything in the system, we audit and we double check, and we make sure that things are going right. And as we continue to grow, we try to continue to update and make our lives easier for all of our employees throughout the system. And with that, we try to upgrade and grow. And we’ve built out our own internal systems that are all based off sheets that all talk to each other. And with that, there is human errors that happen. And there are, now that it’s summertime, there’s people that are off, there’s people that don’t want to necessarily grow with the way that we should be, have the standards and the conduct that we need to.
Neil Dudley: Hey, right there, though, that’s a great rabbit to chase because you say it in that YouTube video I referenced, how the meat industry is smoke and mirrors in a lot of ways. When you start thinking about money and then the tough reality that a lot of times demand will outgrow supply, and as a business, I may not get that- What if I don’t ever get a chance at that customer again? I need to have product for them to fulfill their need. Well, uh-oh, if we’re going to stay true to our expectations, we may just be sold out, and that’s a scary spot. So, let’s explore that a little bit. How has that been for you guys?
James Peisker: So, we learned it the hard way at the butcher shop, at the brick-and-mortar butcher shop, because that’s where Porter Road started. Well, Porter Road started at a farmers market booth. But once we got into the brick-and-mortar butcher shop, we had a customer that would come every Saturday about two or three hours before we closed, and this guy would want fillets every single Saturday. We’ve been a whole animal butcher since we started. We still are a whole animal butcher, which means we buy the entire animal and then we process it through, and it’s our job to figure out what to do with all the pieces. It shouldn’t be the farmers job like it is at farmer’s markets and all of those smaller areas, nor should it be their disadvantage that they don’t go all the way through, and they shouldn’t get dinged financially for it. So, with that, we always run out of fillet. I mean, it’s a given. You’re going to get five, six pounds out of a 1200 pound animal, and that’s all you’re going to get. You’re going to get 24 eight-ounce fillets. And that’s your whole thing that you’re getting out. And that’s going to sell out before Saturday, right before we close. And that’s by design. And we still see that today online because we buy a whole bunch of whole animals. And we always call them those designer cuts; they’re the Gucci’s, the Versace’s of the world of meat, and it’s tenderloin, ribeye, sirloin, strip. Those are the four steaks, out of beef, people understand, and people generally go into their comfort zones. So, we’ve always taken it as our challenge to educate the consumer to say, you know what, there is more and better stuff out there and less expensive things. And at Porter Road, we have grown incredibly fast and very large, but we still hold true to when I was in the cut room behind that cutting table, pulling out every single seam, pulling out every single muscle. And like the fillet, for example, that’s the one most people want, there’s other delicious tender cuts out there. You can have your flat iron or your teres major, and you can keep going. You can have your merlot steak. There are so many other steaks that are very similar to it that are half or a third of the price that have more of that beefy flavor, that have a better eat than it, but it’s just not commercially available.
Neil Dudley: Well yeah, it’s not comfortable. I thought you said that really great. It seems a bacon wrapped fillet is just I can’t mess that up. Everybody coming over is going to know what it is. I think what y’all do in educating your consumers and helping them save a little money, that’s a great thing.
James Peisker: We try hard. And to us, it’s not just about the quality of beef because Chris and I started Porter Road, and everything to us has been about flavor. We’re both ex-chefs. It is about if you don’t have a good quality product, you’re not going to change the world. Like I understand that an animal that eats all grass its entire life out on the field, not grass being brought to it, not peanut butter pellets-
Neil Dudley: Oh, man, see, there you go. You’re talking about another great thing, like that smoke and mirrors thing. Like the difference between grass fed, grass finished, grass raised, pasture raised, how does a consumer know what any of that means?
James Peisker: Well, and even beyond that, 80% of the grass fed we consume in America is imported from across the world. And what we believe it means might be different out there. Because I mean, even in the States, you can be grass fed and still feed them corn before it kernels, the green chop. There are so many loopholes into it. So, at Porter Road, flavor has always been the most important thing. And to us – I’m a Midwesterner, I grew up in St. Louis – our beef, our animals need that grain. They need to be mellowed out. I understand you’re not going to have as nutritious as a fat component. But in your grass-fed beef, you’re barely getting fat anyways. And the quality is much harder to control. So for us, with all of the decisions that we make through Porter Road and all of the things that we do, we make pros and cons lists. We say, what is the most important thing to us, and we start with flavor. And then through that, what’s really cool is on the quest for that perfect flavor, you have to cross the path of really good farming and agricultural techniques to really maximize that flavor. And then same thing, like all of our beef is dry aged, whole carcass, because to us, it’s about maximizing that flavor. Where all of the industry heads that we run into, they’re like wait, whole thing out, and it’s something we will never not do because the flavor that comes of it is so untouchable to anything else. And nobody can ever convince me that a wet age product is even close to as good as a dry age.
Neil Dudley: It’s a great- you’re almost, I don’t know if you set out to do this, but you’re a very savvy marketer. I mean, ultimately, we all need to be good marketers. I argue this all the time. If you’re going to get a job, you need to be able to market yourself. If you’re going to sell a product, you need to be able to market your product. If you’re going to be a brand, if you’re going to change the world, you better be able to market your thought process. And what you did by dry aging, and you know nobody else is going to do that because it cost so much, they’re scared people won’t pay for it, you set yourself up in a category that you’re the leader in. I mean, one guy said it to me once – either be the only one doing it, or be the best at it. And the best way to be the best at it is be the only one doing it.
James Peisker: That’s great, I like that. I appreciate the kind words, but in the terms of marketing and when we think about marketing, you’re selling yourself. Like you said, if you’re going to be successful in a career, you’re going to be successful in life, you need to be able to convince people that you can do what you do. And to me, it’s about the passion. It’s about what I love to do. I’ve been in the food industry since I was 14 years old. I thought I was going to be a chef, and nothing was ever going to stop me. And then I started butchering, and I was like, hold up, there’s a whole new world of fascinating, interesting things that really, again, back to that flavor, all of it affects it. All of it has something to do with it, and it goes all the way back to the farm, even before that animal is born, when you can get into those genetics, you can get into what they’re getting fed, you can get into why we’re raising them out on pasture, never bringing them into a feedlot. Like all of these things add up to build what we think is that perfect steak or that perfect pork chop or that perfect chicken thigh, whatever you’re into. But all of it ends up where everything gets connected. And at Porter Road, we’re sitting there trying to connect those pieces. And through that process, we’re saying, wait a minute, we can make our consumer healthier by giving them a healthier product, we can make the environment better off at the outset because we can use these animals as part of a whole system and not just as something that is taking, it’s also giving back as well.
Neil Dudley: To me, that is humane. That is the circle of life. That is why you eat meat. So, it’s probably not interpreted the same way by a vegan or somebody that hasn’t lived the truth I lived, which was we ate cattle that I fed and raised and saw get born. In just my life, that’s an experience that was real for me, where I think a huge part of our population doesn’t have that experience. I can’t hold it against them. I’m not mad at them. They have just a reality that the animal they see in their life and the animals they interact with are their dogs, cats, pets. And that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cow, pig, chicken as a pet. I love animals. But I believe they’re going to die. Why not eat them, use that nutrition, and really respect it?
James Peisker: That is extremely wise. And I’m always very envious of people such as- I grew up hanging out on abandoned railroad tracks and biking in alleys. I loved my childhood. I love my life. But there is that disconnect. There is something that is very extreme. I’ve been fortunate enough, when I started growing up, I put myself into those situations. I started hanging out with farmers and picking their brain and understanding that mindset. But to your point, I think there is a major disconnect. And it’s not just with meat, it’s all of our food. And it’s everything that we’re eating. Because if we appreciate the inputs into our body, into our systems that we’re doing, the better choices we’re going to make and the better choices that we’re going to be able to vote with our dollar to say these are the things that I really want to stand behind. Because I think a lot of people are eating grass fed beef, saying I’m supporting a better system. But then there goes those smoke and mirrors, and people don’t understand what they’re necessarily buying into, but they’re trying. And again, Porter Road is about educating. Porter Road is about trying to get people to think about it because in the scheme of it, I agree with what a lot of vegans think the world should look like. And I think if you’re going to be a vegan, go eat a vegetable, go eat some legumes, eat some non-animal food. But when you go into it and you say I’m going to be a vegan, but I’m going to eat processed food, I’m going to eat this fake meat that bleeds with 23 ingredients into it, that’s where I start to draw the line and say where do we want to be as a society because I don’t want to live in a world where all we eat is Franken food. I don’t want to live in a world where all of my food comes from a factory. I want to live where we have real flavor and real nutrition that comes from the ground that we’re taking care of and we’re taking care of those inputs and not putting them into ourselves. Because as humans, we always think we are smarter than everything else in the universe. And most of the time, it comes to bite us in the butt real soon afterwards. And as we continue to push on, I love the conversation of people should eat less meat. I own a meat company. I’m a meat guy. But I think everybody, overall, generally should eat less meat. It shouldn’t be a three meal a day type of thing. We should have a very balanced diet. It should include meat. It should include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, but it’s about that balance that’s going to make us healthier, it’s going to make our environment better. And if we can get people to buy onto that and drink the Kool Aid, then we can actually get people to buy better meats, better proteins, that are going to be a part of a better system. And it’s going to be an uphill battle to convince people that they don’t need the two third pound burger with bacon and cheese on it for lunch. Like, yeah, you might want to do that every once and a while, maybe a once a year thing, but a quarter pound burger of really, really good meat should satisfy you.
Neil Dudley: Yeah. Do you work out? Are you like- So a lot of this sounds like almost nutritionist information. Is that part of becoming a chef?
James Peisker: Again, I think all of it comes together as the entire piece of the puzzle. And I talk about nutrition a lot because a lot of the flavors we get have to do with those nutrients, especially those micro and macro nutrients that are involved. And the easiest way to usually get people to understand that is when you talk about tomatoes and strawberries. Those are the two that if you have a garden or you live near an Amish stand or something, and you get a tomato or strawberry in season, it is night and day different than when it is out of season from the grocery store. And structurally, it’s a strawberry, it’s a tomato; they’re the same thing. But it’s how we raise it and the inputs that we put into it. And all of those flavonoids we get are from nutrients. Like all of those things are really, really good for us. And our body is telling us through the flavor, this is what you should be eating, this is how it should be. And so, sometimes I get stuck and harp on one little thing.
Neil Dudley: I mean, I like it. I think the listeners are getting that message through even other guests on the podcast. We’ve had carnivores. I haven’t had a vegan or vegetarian on the show, but I want to, I need to. I’ve got some emails out to a couple of them. And I kind of live or I think about it this way: Kind of also, you need to do what’s good for you. Like, I really can’t tell you, I can say if you’re obese, and you’re kind of just lethargic, not feeling good, I want for you, because I care about other humans, to feel better and to just have a more fulfilling life. But I can’t make you. You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. That’s similar. I think Porter Road does a great job of saying, hey, here’s the stuff. If you want it, we’re going to be here and deliver it for you. So logistically, or now then let’s just kind of turn the boat and talk about the realities of it. So, it’s hot. It’s summertime. Tell people partially like the battles you guys face in just getting product to consumers.
James Peisker: Yeah, so since we launched online, it has been a major learning curve. Luckily, we have brought in incredible team members. Some of them, actually, a lot of our digital team never had anything to do with meat before, and they learned, but they understand the complexities of that side of the business that Chris and I never really thought about before we were saying, we’re going to launch online, and we’re going to deliver you a fresh steak to your front door. And again, people were like, well, that’s insane. And we’re like, yeah, but if we are truly going to change people’s minds and change people’s buying habits, we need to make it easy for them, and we need to make it convenient. And if I’m thinking about who I’m having over this weekend, I don’t want to get a bunch of steaks that I need to sit there and thaw out. I want a steak that I can throw on the grill. I want things that I can cook pretty soon after I get them. So, we were trying to figure out how to do that. And the logistics behind any business, especially businesses as you start to grow, becomes more and more complex. And I think the most complex thing that we deal with all the time is people. Systems we set into place. We have Shopify on our on our website. It talks to SKU vault is our inventory. And as long as the information and the data being put in by people is accurate, then it’s pretty simple. One of my favorite things is the job is simple, people make it difficult, make it more simple. And it’s more looking internally what can I do to be a part of the system to make it better. And what we do on a day-to-day basis with all of our butchers is a very skill and labor-intensive job that these people must come to every single day. And making sure that everything flows has always been an extreme challenge. And then now that it’s getting hot, it’s even more of a challenge as well.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, that heat really, really complicates the transit time. Like, you just have to be very cognizant of it.
James Peisker: Yeah, I mean, even when we receive meat nowadays, like the truck that is delivering it needs to be as cold as possible. The amount of gel packs that we do, like I wish I could figure out a way during the summer to make it less cost intensive and environmentally intensive to send product. But like this week, for example, it’s going to be 100 degrees plus for a very large group of the country. And that’s where a lot of the challenges come into place. But for us, part of the Porter Road way is how do we have that flavor, but also, how do we make better tomorrow for everybody? So, we actually ship everything in 100% recyclable and biodegradable insulation. Like we don’t use Styrofoam because it’ll be here forever.
Neil Dudley: There you go, you’re kicking my tail on that front. All the stuff we ship- I mean, we hate it, but we’ve not found a solution. And even Styrofoam is not that reliable if the humans don’t put the right kind of stuff in there. So, you nailed it with that human variable. Although, they’re the most beautiful part of our business, so it is such a catch 22.
James Peisker: Yeah, I mean, we’re nothing without our team. We’re nothing without our family. And we have grown. We started as two people. And we continue to constantly grow. And getting people to buy on to the philosophy and the theory of what we’re out here trying to do. And I always walk up, the newer people, the guy building the cardboard boxes, I like them to know that you’re changing the world. And a lot of them look at me like I have four heads. And I’m like, no, because if you put that piece of tape on that box perfect, you make it look like a Christmas present sitting on somebody’s front porch, you already have changed that person’s mind of saying, I don’t buy meat online because of blah. And if you can continue to do that in like the way we pack the box, the way we package the meat, the way we cut the meat, all of it matters. All of it is a human touch point. But all of it matters to make sure that we can continue to change the minds of the average consumer saying there is a better way out there and I want to buy into that. And like right now, during the summer months where it’s 100 degrees outside, we’re adding a whole bunch of gel packs to every single box. We’re upgrading boxes to overnighting them. It is a different world.
Neil Dudley: Do you find that you have issue with your carrier? I’ll just say it – we use FedEx, by and large. I’m not real happy with that current situation, I guess. So, I’m actually kind of asking, who do y’all use?
James Peisker: So, we have gone back and forth from FedEx to UPS. UPS, for us, is slightly more expensive. That is who we currently use now. But they are, in our personal experience, have been more reliable. And from my understanding, talking with the drivers and doing research into it, my conclusion on this, and I’m making this very clear that it is me personally.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I know. Are you in a lawsuit right now or something?
James Peisker: For us, what I have- for me, what my theory behind it is, is that UPS takes really good care of their people. UPS has all their drivers that work for them to where FedEx and other companies outsource a lot of that last mile to where it’s going to be a third party. So, you’re not necessarily dealing with that particular company’s employees, you’re dealing with an outsourced person. Which again, talking about your people, it is the most important thing of a good company. But it can also be one of your biggest challenges. And like for UPS, in Princeton, Kentucky, where our main facility is at, we know every single one of our drivers. They have cell phones, personal cell phones that they trade with our shipping team, and the relationships that they develop, I mean, even the person at the hub, like the relationships that we’ve been able to develop, for us, with UPS has been pretty great. And we did try other guys. We’ve tried to look into other things. And unfortunately, they deal with lots of people, and there are times where like an entire hub will get shut down for one reason or another. And we’ll have a thousand boxes sitting in one place while we’re just sweating because we ship our boxes-
Neil Dudley: Is that going to get gone in time? Totally.
James Peisker: And during the summer, that window of error goes way down, where in the middle of winter for the northern half of the country, if it gets stuck in a hub, you’re most likely going to be fine. We can send things and it can get to my house in Chicago seven days later, and if it’s cold enough, it’s fine. But the big issue, too, is that we are a company that prides ourselves on our customer service. We do chat, phone, email. We use Slack internally as a company. And if the customer service group can’t figure it out in their giant book that they have to explain things, they can actually Slack the entire company and say, “Hey, what about this?” And there’s 40, 50% of the time, I’m personally answering some customer who’s Slacking the customer service because we want to make sure that that experience is so good for them. And launching online, Chris and I’s main thing was how do we create the experience of the butcher shop online? We don’t want to be this smoke and mirrors. We don’t want to be this catchy, same reason why we haven’t just given up on the whole animal and knowing the farmers and just going to opening up boxes of tenderloin and slicing them up.
Neil Dudley: I got to ask you that. So on the whole animal, like you’re dealing with all fall, let’s say, livers, tongues, all that. Do you have consumers that are ordering those things on your website?
James Peisker: So again, it’s up to us as the butchers to say as a consumer, what are you going to do with this? As a consumer, you don’t want a heart with giant arteries in it and all this. It’s very intimidating. And I had to ship this thing. So, I thought back to my cooking days, and I used to work for this incredible chef, Gerard Craft, and one Valentine’s Day we did a heart steak with a broken vinegarette on it. And I was like, you know what, let’s try to cut a heart steak. So, we actually cut these beautiful eight ounce, perfectly cleaned up heart steaks, really lean, really minerally, really irony. We get a per heart, and we can charge a premium for them. And really at that point, you’re paying for labor, and you’re paying for skilled butchers to go in there.
Neil Dudley: Oh, that’s the other thing. You just said skilled butchers. Like where did you find those people? Like I think also people go learn this about James. He just started working and then found cutting meat to be this artistic kind of form that just really opened his eyes to it. I want more butchers in America. And we got to get that word out because I think people totally walk right by this really cool thing.
James Peisker: Well, it’s just trades in general. I think as a society, as a country, we drilled it into people’s heads that you’re going to be nothing if you don’t go to college. Like you’ve got to go to college, go do that. Having a skill and having a trade is an incredible thing. And you can make a really successful life out of it. And I think it’s a different thought process to where being a mechanic, being a butcher, working with your hands, being a farmer, like all of these things are the heartbeat of our society. And at least growing up in a city, it was you become a doctor, you become a lawyer, you become one of these, personally, to me, really boring professions that keep me- But for us, it has always been a challenge. But for us, we cut things in such a unique way that we can barely source, even if butchers wanted to come from an outside area, we can’t take somebody who worked at a mass facility and put them into our system and have them not need to be retrained. They might be able to know how to hold a knife. But a lot of it is about attitude, and it’s about work ethic. And you can know nothing about meat and you can come into our system, and as long as you have a good attitude and a good work ethic, we can get you trained up. And I learned how to cut beef by randomly emailing an incredible butcher named Rob Lovett. He works at Publican Quality Meats here in Chicago, dear friend of mine, cold email him. He said, “Come on up.” And three days into knowing him, he dropped a side of beef in front of me and said, “Now you cut it.” And I was like, well, this is amazing. And ever since then, I have been a type of person that always wants to continue to pay it forward. Because of the kindness of some random guy in Chicago, I was able to-
Neil Dudley: That is a great example. Look, folks, just email the person. What’s the worst they can do? No, you idiot. Stop wasting my time. Okay, they called you an idiot, and that hurt your feelings a little bit. But the potential that they’d say, “Hey, come on up, let’s work it out,” is so much, it’s such an easy price to pay – the risk of a person that’s just having a bad day or in some way is not the person you think they are. Like I argue if you ask somebody, maybe try to add value first, but even if you just ask first, ask for something from them, and they say typically, most 90% of the time it will be a polite no, can’t do it, or a no response. The worst case is you get cursed out, called an idiot. And the chances of that are just so small. You just have to play that card.
James Peisker: People, overall, I firmly believe people are good. And like you said, it might just be a bad day, it might be something. And it’s not all the time that I can live up to paying it forward. I have people and they’ll email me November, December and I’m like there’s no way I’m bringing anybody in. Like, I have to focus, and the main reason behind that is I’m concerned about my team. I don’t want to cause a kink in their system. But I mean, right now, we’ve been taking loads of these guys from West Virginia who just opened a new facility. And to me, I feel like some might think well that’s the competition, well that’s somebody. If you’re doing something that’s different than the industry standard in the meat world, you’re not my competitor. You’re on my team. Because all of us, in my mind, are trying to change the minds of the average consumer of saying a chicken isn’t a chicken. There is a difference to how we raise them, what we feed them, what we do. Beef isn’t beef. Yeah, all beef starts out on grass, but it can go a really dark route if you let it. Pigs, like to me, that is I will die a happy man if I can be at the forefront of the crusade of getting rid of very overcrowded hog houses. Pigs are delicious. I love eating them. But they are such an amazing creature. Them out on pasture, I mean, the first time I saw their huts they build out in the woods, I was like these things are literally building a house for their family. Like, it is so cool. And to your point, once you start to see that, and there might be people out there, it’s like, oh no, you shouldn’t kill them because of that and all that, like wild pigs are a huge problem.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, sure. I mean, it’s such a dynamic- It’s just a crazy conversation because killing something is just, it’s a thing. Like, if you’ve never hunted, if you’ve never ate something that you harvested yourself, it just has such gravity to it. I mean, I think our military men and women that have been in combat zones, I mean, they’re taking other human life. Like imagine that. I mean, outside of eating a squirrel, it’s just such a dynamic thing. And I try to really have the most open mind possible. I love what you’re saying. As a business, Pederson’s, we adhere to GAP 1 standards, which is still in barns. It’s in gestation pens. And there are no crates of any kind. But it’s still not the pasture where they build their own nests and these kinds of things. So, there’s just so many steps along the rung. And our goal is always to try to just always lean forward, try to be moving more animals out of the commodity cycle to this step 1. Then I kind of pass the baton to you to be leaning forward for moving things out of the step 1 to the pasture. It’s just why we should be friends.
James Peisker: Exactly. And if people like you can create this as the standard, and Pederson’s comes in and says this is the way that we can feed people economically, and we’re not going to be taking more of your paycheck, but these are the way that the standard should be, then it says okay, like you said, what do we do next? What’s the future look like at that point? We have people bought into this system because you can’t change it overnight. And there are incredibly intelligent economists that say you can’t feed the world without some sort of confinement, especially in certain areas. You’re not going to be raising chickens outside in Minnesota for seven months, eight months out of the year. So, there are things and it’s part of the conversation. And as a student of the world, I continually love learning about new things. And talking with farmers in the northeast, we started to have conversations out there and figuring out how we used to have on our proclamation that animals are always out on pasture, never ever confined. In Pennsylvania, that doesn’t work. You’ll have an animal that will get stuck in the mud and die if you say they have to be out there. For their own safety, sometimes you need to bring them in. So, I think it’s part of that complexity. And it’s part of figuring out, okay, in Porter Road’s mind, in my mind, what is smoke and mirrors, and what is for the safety and the health of the animal as well. And back to your point about, again, people being so far removed from their food and not understanding about killing an animal and processing it and doing that, I think again, what most people don’t understand is all agriculture, no matter what it is, whether it is a fruit or vegetable, you are going to kill animals to produce that product. It is the way that it has to be unfortunately. But if you can add in animals into systems, you don’t have monocultures where you are literally just killing entire swaths of land to produce one thing. And I mean, I drive through rural areas all across America a lot, and watching them just tear down fence after fence and tree after tree so these giant enormous combines can come through is going, in my mind, the wrong way. And again, we get to decide whether we live in one world or another every day when we buy stuff. We vote with our dollar every single day. And that type of food that is made from plants and animals and it’s a protein or it’s a burger, this, that, or the other, those all come from monocultures, those all have the inputs, and none of the nutritional value, none of the flavor. None of the pleasure comes along with it as well.
Neil Dudley: We’ll drop the mic right there. I’ve already went way over time. I know you’re a busy man. Thank you so much for your passion, your business, your education, all of those things. So everybody that listens to the podcast, please go check out Porter Road, if you’re not already familiar. I’ve got to bet most of them already know, but if you don’t, go learn more about them, support them with your dollars. They’re one of the teammates in this industry. I call them teammates; you can call them peers, you can call them competitors, you can call them all these things. I also live by the mantra that success is abundant such that no one else has to fail for me to succeed. So, I don’t need to be hoping somebody else fails. And these big huge companies, I mean, they’re watching. I guarantee James gets a call every so often, hey, we want to buy your company, because they know this is where the thing is going. And when I say the thing, it is consumers’ desire is what I mean by the thing because that’s what drives us all. If they don’t vote with those dollars, we’re done. Anyways, there I go off on a soapbox. But James, it has been a great conversation. I’m so happy to meet you. If I can help you in any way ever, don’t hesitate, reach out. Folks, go check out Porter Road and James and Chris and all the great things they’re doing.
James Peisker: Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me, and I like the term teammate because we’re stronger together.
Neil Dudley: Yes, sir. All right, everybody, go out there. Do what you do. Do it great.
What happens when a trained chef is dissatisfied with the quality of the meat on offer? In the case of James Peisker, the answer is simple: If want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. Neil talks to James about how he came to co-found Porter Road, a company where flavor, quality, and freshness come first. The conversation ranges from logistical to philosophical and everything in between. With sage advice from an entrepreneur that started with nothing more than an idea and $500 in a bank account and now runs a successful cutting-edge business—this is an episode you won’t want to miss.
Visit us online at www.PedersonsFarms.com
(2:20) – The reality of being a business owner of Porter Road
(3:53) – The Meat industry is Smoke & Mirrors
(12:38) – Understanding the circle of life when it comes to eating animals
(17:10) – Fitness & Nutrition
(19:27) – What challenges do you face getting products to consumers?
(29:10) – We need more butchers in America!
(40:28) – Wrap up
The Pederson’s Farms Podcast is produced by Johnny Podcasts & Root and Roam.