The owners of a whole-animal butcher stand at Easton Public Market said they are closing their venue after a nearly four-year run.
Tod and Chrissy Auman, principals of Dundore & Heister, said they would close their stand after Jan. 26 to focus on their flagship store in Wyomissing. Dundore & Heister opened in 2014 in Wyomissing, offering local, grass-fed, pastured, organic meats to the Berks County market.
Tod Auman said his Easton venue was one of the original vendors of the market when it opened in April 2016. Now, he would like to focus on exploring strategic partnerships, better distribution practices, and introduce new product lines and develop a catering arm to the business.
The company, which sources animals from local family farms, sells mostly raw and premium prepared products and plans to build educational programming such as a butchering apprenticeship program, among other initiatives.
“Our company exists to support Pennsylvania agriculture,” Auman said.
By working with farmers to help create healthy soil, the company creates healthy food that it sells in as many outlets as possible, he said.
As an example, one of its products, a Hex Pie, is a meat-filled pie with potatoes the company sells at Reading Phillies baseball games in Reading.
Two challenges the company faces increasing the sales of its agricultural products is the need to increase capital and find more people to join the team, Auman said. The company, which began in Wyomissing, would like to do more workforce training of new butchers and has about 15 to 20 full- and part-time employees.
“We have such strong roots in agriculture in both Berks County and Lehigh Valley,” Auman said. “Our journey is to promote that and promote the good that can come from our remarkable soils. That’s really the inspiration behind Dundore & Heister.”
The company also has a partnership with Rodale Institute of Maxatawny Township, Berks County, to adopt a new standard for farming known as Regenerative Organic Certification. The standard is a holistic approach to farming that includes addressing animal wellness standards, fair wages, and other elements, Auman said. Such an approach is good for the business, the farmers, the animals and ultimately the consumer.
At its Wyomissing store, sales increased by 40 percent last year, he said.
The partnerships and collaborations have allowed for a lot of increased revenue and consumers are looking for the company to be creative with its products, he said.
“It’s those products that have really increased our sales,” Auman said. “We’ve redefined our company as a company that’s going out and getting our products in different venues.”
It’s also selling them through different models, such as through catering services.