Owners: Gene and Cindy Buchite
Location: Southwest City, Mo.
History: Gene Buchite’s parents decided to relocate to McDonald County, Mo., from Minnesota in 1979 after his grandparents headed south to Missouri.
The family purchased the meat processing business that same year with Gene spending his childhood working alongside his parents. After marrying Cindy, a McDonald County native, he worked in other occupations, but by 1994 the family business was calling his name.
The couple purchased the business from Gene’s parents when their son, Jeremy was just 3 years old. Today, their granddaughter Izzy, spends time in the office with Cindy while both her parents, Jeremy and Sara, work processing meat, making them the third generation in the business.
Products and Services: Located just off Main Street on Choctaw Street in Southwest City, Mo., the business has three full-time employees and three part-time employees. Like most custom meat processing facilities, Southwest City Processing handles domestic meat such as beef, pork and lamb. The facility has gone from processing 15 head a week to roughly 50 head. Word of mouth has brought customers from as far away as Tulsa, Okla., and Bentonville, Ark., including several ag teachers from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri schools.
November is their busiest month with the opening of deer season, in fact, last year they processed 700 deer. They also custom process some interesting wild game like bear, elk, antelope or even a mountain lion. Besides meat processing, the Buchite’s also make summer sausage, jalapeno cheese summer sausage, jerky, pepper sticks, and hickory-smoked pork. Gone are the days of paper wrapping meat by hand: they prefer vacuum packaging, which is not only quicker and easier but maintains the freshness and flavor much longer.
Future: With more people owning their own freezers, the family plan to eliminate some of the rental lockers and expand their processing capabilities. Beyond those changes the focus is to pass the business on to Jeremy and Sara, keeping it in the family.