The Story of Sweets and Meats.
Sweets and Meats
Cliff Rensberger, owner of Sweets and Meats, began his career working in retail but discovered a new career path through his passion of making homemade jerky. Cliff was making homemade jerky for a third-shift nighttime lunch when his co-workers noticed and began to comment on the tastiness of the jerky. His colleagues recognized the uniqueness of his flavorful, high quality, no preservative product and the orders began to arrive. Cliff named his products Colby Jack Jerky after his son, and a new business was born. After some time at craft shows introducing and selling the homemade jerky, spice rubs, and BBQ sauces, a relationship was formed with a local chocolatier. Through this relationship, Colby Jack Jerky and Taylor Jay Chocolates transformed into one company: Sweets and Meats.
When looking for a physical location, Sweets and Meats found a home at the Lakeview Square Mall. With the small storefront at the Mall serving as a home base, Cliff saw an opportunity to expand Sweets and Meats to become a full scale operation. “My dream is to have a full restaurant with a menu that features the spice rubs and sauces we have developed,” reveals Cliff. With very little experience in the full service restaurant industry, the concept of creating a small scale stand-alone model to test products and logistics was a viable next step.
The search for a second location led to BC Cargo, which was the ideal incubator for Sweets and Meats Eatery to pilot their business and test the market in a new stand-alone space. Having a location at BC Cargo provided an opportunity to remain a part of a community-based marketplace while establishing a new individual presence within Battle Creek. The Lakeview Square Mall location serves as a home base and commercial kitchen, while the BC Cargo location looks to fill the niche of a local eatery with grab-and-go products available within the downtown.
After the inaugural season at BC Cargo, Sweets and Meats is looking to refine their business strategy and revamp operations. “We know that the holiday season will be incredibly busy, so we are preparing now for that time. After that, we can continue to cultivate our business plan and set a clear direction for Sweets and Meats,” affirms Cliff.