Butchers, Bakers, & Candy Makers

Locals aim for a slice of the food industry pie


Published:

(page 9 of 10)

Rachel Leemis

Company: Monty’s Beef Company

Products: Piedmontese beef

Distribution: Direct to restaurants and a Royal Oak retail outlet; montysbeefco.com

Back story: The search for a better burger led Rachel Leemis down quite a different path than she originally intended. She’s now raising a herd of cattle with a distinctly Italian heritage here in the Midwest.

After working in everything from mom-and-pop to high-end steak restaurants, Leemis planned to go solo with a “casual burger joint.” Trying to find a product she loved led her to Italy — and Piedmontese beef. But there was a rub. Where to source it?

The question led her to a 72-year-old, fifth- generation Michigan farmer and Piedmontese cattle expert. But instead of opening a restaurant, Leemis decided to focus on developing the breed — and a market for it.

Leemis took the product on the road, knocking on a bunch of kitchen doors. Soon, Monty’s was supplying some of the better restaurants in the Detroit area (think Ocean Prime and Bacco).

Monty’s Beef opened a retail store in Royal Oak around a year ago. The next step is to grow the herd, because “200 acres in Michigan is not enough,” Leemis says. They now work with nine cooperative breeders.

“When I grow up I want to be Niman Ranch,” Leemis says, referring to the California-based nationally recognized brand.

Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

So You Wanna Be A Chef (Or Just Cook Like One)

Local culinary classes range from making doughnuts to earning degrees.

Better When Basted

Big Rock's Matthew Fitchett gives lamb a seared spin.

Shared Plates: December 2018 Winner

Recipe: Lebanese Okra Stew

Cocktail Recipe: Ask Your Mum

My Two Christmases

An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. An Hour with ... Carmen Harlan
    Broadcast journalist and founder of the Carmen Harlan Collection
  4. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  5. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  6. Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s Downtown Living Tour 2018
    Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s third annual Downtown Living Tour took place September 7th-9th....
  7. Cocktail Recipe: Toddy Incarnata
  8. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  9. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  10. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food