I can remember the moment that I first tasted a real hamburger. I was staying with family in rural Utah. Dinner featured homemade hamburgers prepared with beef from a locally raised, grass-fed cow. I remember the complexity of flavor being so unique that I had asked how the meat had been seasoned. “It wasn’t,” was the answer. “It’s just the beef.” I was amazed. Until that moment I hadn’t realized what I had been missing by eating industrial beef.
Utah has a long history of ranching in the state’s rural areas. In south-central Utah, just outside the boundaries of Capitol Reef National Park, lies the charming town of Torrey. Surrounded by pink cliffs and grassy meadows, Torrey is the home of Paizlee’s Grass Fed Beef.
Benjamin Stutman and Andrew Slater are the conscientious owners of Paizlee’s Beef. They also own and operate Café Diablo in Torrey. Their restaurant industry experience has taught them that customers want quality and consistency in the food they consume. This translates into how their cattle are raised, handled, and processed They can thus oversee their high standard of quality control from both ends of the consumer spectrum.
“Our goal is to grow sustainably, with the quality of meats at the forefront,” says Stutman. “From wholesale meats to our small batch jerky, we knew we could create a superior product with our combined knowledge of agriculture and food service.”
Small farms have their hard work cut out for them. Sustainable agriculture comes with significant challenges. Grass-fed beef is fighting stigmas such as false labeling and high prices. Fortunately, with Paizlee’s involvement with the entire process, their costs are kept to a minimum.
“Our pricing is far below what most other grass-fed products are marked at, and our attention to quality is uncompromising,” says Stutman.
Investing in their community also is a high priority. As does many small towns, Torrey faces the challenge of maintaining their young population. Paizlee’s wants to be a driving force creating opportunity closer to home.
“Agriculture has always been a passion for us,” says Stutman. “However, we wanted to create a viable business that would create year-round jobs in our small community. Everything we do, from raising the animals, to slaughter, to final packaging is done 100 percent in Utah. We reinvest in the Utah economy and Utah families over and over.”
When asked where he would like to be in five years, Benjamin Stutman replies, “We would love to be in every major grocery store in the US and, with as fast as this has taken off, we believe we will get there!”
Because of their hard work and high standards, Paizlee’s Grass Fed Beef is becoming easier for the consumer to find. It is on the menus of many restaurants, from Moab to Salt Lake City. Paizlee’s can be found at local farmers markets across the state, their jerky products will be found in stores across the country starting in 2019, and high quality, locally raised, grass fed beef can always be purchased online from their website.