Ward's Soon To Sell Locally Raised Beef
Published February 9th, 2014
GAINESVILLE - Buy local, shop local-- That's their motto. One independent grocery store is putting Gainesville on the map when it comes to local farming. This supermarket will soon be selling their own sustainably grown beef.
Nowadays many more people are checking labels and caring about where their food is coming from. Here in Gainesville, Ward's Supermarket is the only locally-owned and operated grocery store. Now they're going one step further by introducing their own brand of locally raised beef.
Vashti Osborne a long-time customer of wards supermarket says she worries about where her food comes from. "Number one you don't know what is in it and when you see documentaries things that are raised in farms and all kinds of stuff and the food is contaminated, it's going to pollute your body," Osborne said.
She is happy to hear that ward's supermarket will be introducing its own brand of sustainably grown angus beef. Billy Ward, the owner of Ward's Supermarket said, "Well we've always had a love for the animals and always enjoyed the country and always enjoyed living in the country." The family calls it a labor of love.
Brooke Ward the produce manager says, "Local is a keyword. It's something that we have that a lot of other stores don't have. It's something that we put forward is buying locally."
Wards opened back in 1951-- The business has been run by the Ward family for four generations now.
Trish Ward, Billy's wife said, "I think as time goes on when people realize that the corporate world is squeezing the little man out and it is so important for us to be supported. And not only do we have almost 100 employees, that's 100 families we support but we have 350 vendors that we support."
The Ward family will be supplying beef from their very own farm in Brooker in Bradford County. They currently have 50 cows. Sustainable meat production is something they have been working on for the past two years.
Bryan Ward the meat manager said, "The product hopefully will be excellent-- Excellent product. The pricing will probably be slightly higher than conventional but not nearly as high as grass-fed or organic."
The Wards family is staying away from antibiotic and growth hormones in order to raise their cows naturally. Billy says the cows will be grass fed and grain finished. "We also bring these calves in to our farm and we raise the calves from the calve stage up through their life cycle. And in the last few months of their life cycle we bring them in and we give them grain to help marbleized the meat and to make it a tender better piece of meat," Billy said.
If you're interested in trying wards meat it will available for the public by the end of this month. For more information, click here for their website.
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