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Meat and potatoes: New Magic Valley food business keeps it simple and local
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Meat and potatoes: New Magic Valley food business keeps it simple and local

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Meat and Potato Company up and running

Owner Travis Dixon talks about Meat and Potato Company on Friday in Twin Falls. The company's name is an honest one: Dixon sells meat and potatoes, and most of his products come from the Magic Valley or elsewhere in Idaho. The company is only online right now, but Dixon hopes to have a retail location open in time for this summer. 

TWIN FALLS — Travis Dixon started a meat and potatoes company both literally and metaphorically this November.

Meat and Potato Company is a new Twin Falls business with an honest name. The idea, as the name suggests, is simple: Customers can buy local, restaurant-grade meats and potatoes online. You can buy a lone bag of spuds or a couple of pounds of bacon if you want, but the store also sells food in bulk.

For instance, there’s the “Steakhouse” package that includes 20-plus aged steaks of different cuts, or the “Fill Your Freezer Stimulus Package” that comes with a cornucopia of meat and taters.

These are high-end foods at reasonable prices that you wouldn’t be able to find in stores, Dixon said.

Online food sales have increased dramatically in the past few years. If you want to buy steaks and high-quality food on the internet, you’ve got a wealth of options. What sets Meat and Potato Company apart, Dixon said, is that nearly all of his products come from the Magic Valley or Idaho.

“We’re trying to keep as much as we can in this little area,” he said.

Meat and Potato Company up and running

Meat and Potato Company products mostly come from the Magic Valley and Idaho. 

A man with a plan

Dixon spent 25 years in the foodservice industry in Twin Falls. He used to be one of the guys who restaurant owners would call when they needed to buy ingredients, but this autumn he decided to finally start the business he’d been thinking about for nearly a decade.

The idea for the Meat and Potato Company came about naturally. Dixon’s friends knew he sold food to restaurants. They knew he had access to good food — food they couldn’t buy, bring home and cook themselves. So they pestered him.

“We had friend, after friend, after friend say, ‘Hey, can we get some bacon from you?’” Dixon said. “It was non-stop.”

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Eight years ago, Dixon bought the meatandpotatoco.com domain name. Today, after holding onto that website for years, the purchase appears to have been a prescient one.

“My thought process was people are going to want this type of item (restaurant-grade food) eventually,” Dixon said. “They want this stuff, they just can’t get it.”

Most of Meat and Potato Company’s beef comes from a feedlot in Malta, where cattle eat Mini-Cassia grown feed. The potatoes — either rainbow fingerlings or russets half the size of a football — all come from the Magic Valley, too. You typically can’t buy russets that big in a store.

Dixon buys bacon, sausage and other pork products from Falls Brand in Twin Falls. Meat and Potato Company’s chicken comes from Washington — that’s one of the few places you can get bulk chicken outside of the southeast, Dixon said.

Right now, Meat and Potato Company is entirely online. But Dixon plans to find a brick-and-mortar retail location in time to open by summer. And he hopes the business will grow. The goal is to have a big retail shop that operates almost like a year-round farmer’s market.

Meat and Potato Company up and running

Meat and Potato Company ships boxes filled with local meats and potatoes. Owner Travis Dixon came up with the idea more than eight years ago and launched the Twin Falls business in November. 

The business is just meat and potatoes today, but Dixon intends to offer a greater diversity of local products in the future. He’s trying to get local bison and lamb, plus local cheese and milk. Beans, fresh produce, Idaho-grown fruit — Dixon has a big vision for what Meat and Potato Company can become, and he wants to try and involve lots of Magic Valley and Idaho producers.

It was scary to leave a well-paying job to start a new business, Dixon said. The days during these first few months have been fun, but busy. Dixon’s pretty much working alone, doing everything from packing boxes to maintaining the website, to finding new suppliers and marketing.

“Every time I turn around I look at the clock and don’t know what happened the last four or five hours,” Dixon said.

But so far, people do seem to want locally-grown, aged steaks, Falls Brand pork, Magic Valley spuds and Pacific Northwest chicken. The early signs seem to suggest Dixon was right, eight years ago, when he predicted people would want to buy these foods. Meat and Potato Company is selling a couple of hundred boxes a month already and people from 38 different states have made a purchase.

“We plan on expanding as much locally as we possibly can,” he said. “I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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