Star City Produce and Meats started with an idea and a package of jerky, today the Star City Colony and David Tschetter who spent 27 years in the hog industry looked for something else to do.
“I was in the hog industry for 27 years, when that finished for me, I wanted something to do so I started with a package of jerky and from there on it just exploded,” says Tschetter. “I got some seasoning, we made it, and sold it and it impressed people and from there it went step by step. It was initially just a thought, but progressed to way beyond our expectations.”
Today this colony, located two hours northeast of Saskatoon, SK is building a meat shop with a retail store where people can buy meats, which they raise, butcher, and process right onsite. They farm around 7,000 acres, but operate as a mixed farm including dairy, pork, chickens, a beef herd and processing too.
The total size of the meat processing building is 80 x 82 and a 21 x 50 load out area to unload animals for processing. The retail area is 28 x 24 including the display coolers and freezer.
“We will be selling all cuts of beef and pork, we might even integrate the vegetables, poultry, eggs and pastries from the kitchen,” he said. “We built it to provincial specifications, but in Saskatchewan they have a category for local health approved facilities and we will stick with that for now unless regulations change.”
They process all on-site and sell all home-grown local produce and that is a big seller for quite a few people around there. Right now there are four people from the colony working at the existing shop, but as they progress, there is opportunity for more.
“Right now 75 per cent of our sales are processed sausages, but we sell everything,” said Tschetter. “Until now we don’t sell much fresh meat, unless a person happens to arrive on the day of processing. We freeze everything because we didn’t have the facility to show it to the public, but that might change with the new shop.”
When asked from how far they draw customers, he says, while this is in the extreme, a lady drove from Regina to get some smoked pork chops.
While building a retail store and a meat processing shop, this colony is already selling fresh vegetables and pastries from their bake shops.
“We have a fair sized market garden and a big variety of in season vegetables including two greenhouses where we grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. And one greenhouse where we start and grow a variety of flowers,” says the Star City Colony’s
“We raise beef, pigs, turkeys, ducks, geese, fryers and roasters. We have a flock of laying hens supplying fresh eggs every day.”
If all goes well, the colony would love to hold an open house for Star City Meats sometime this summer.  •
— By Harry Siemens