I’ve been talking a lot lately about F1 Meat Co. — my new professionally run meat processing facility that serves Central Florida — in this column space and how it fits into my greater vision. But there is another piece of the plan that is in motion that I haven’t talked about quite as much. That piece is Chop-N-Block, a custom meat shop I opened in Winter Haven 12 years ago to help hunters process their meat.
The shop has been in the periphery a bit, but now its full potential is about to shine through. Chop-N-Block has predominantly focused on wild game, and its steadfast support of the hunting community created a dedicated customer base. While that, I promise you, will not change, my little shop is about to undergo a metamorphosis of sorts, and its sidekick status is going to shift as it moves to Frostproof and becomes an integral part of the F1 Meat venture.
So why is it moving? Simple: It outgrew itself. Admittedly, the Winter Haven Chop-N-Block was small and dedicated predominantly to processing wild game. But I can’t tell you how many times people would come in and inquire about purchasing meat. The new iteration of the shop is going to be a full-blown meat market. It will continue to process wild game meat, but it will also sell other proteins, as well as frozen goods like vegetables that customers can buy in bulk at a great price.
Its proximity to F1 Meat means we’ll be able to process meat at F1 Meat and custom cut it for customers who are more conscientious about the origin of their meat. After all, we are part of Fresh From Florida, and this is the epitome of fresh and local.
In addition to the chicken, beef, pork, and lamb, we’ll be able to special order special proteins, including fresh fish and shrimp. Some of the meat sold there will include grass-fed beef I’ve raised at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch as well as meat from buybacks at local youth fairs.
Right now, we’re in the process of dolling up the new location. The latest equipment will include a new 12-foot glass meat showcase and more, all so we can bring back the old-time neighborhood meat market where customers can come in and talk about where their meat comes from.
Stay tuned as we get closer to Opening Day, which we expect to be October 2, and we’ll see you soon at 7291 US Highway 27 in Frostproof.
I can’t wait to see yet another piece of my vision fall into place.
This article is sponsored by Labor Solutions, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of Central Florida Ag News or of its advertisers.
BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Arcadia, and Plant City. You also can visit his Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch online at www.DH-LR.com. A cattle rancher and citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.