April 27, 2006

Arizona Family ‘Meats’ Its Match In Memphis

In an era that sees rural areas regularly losing population to urban centers, good old-fashioned country living still has its supporters.

Brandon and Crystal Hellmann recently relocated to Memphis, specifically because they wanted to get away from urban life and get back to the sense of community in a rural setting where they could raise their two children, eight-year-old Rylie and four-year-old Zane.

The Hellmans both were born and raised in Arizona. They called the Gilbert area home until August when they moved to Memphis.

It wasn’t the couple’s first trip to northeast Missouri. They had visited Memphis three years ago, as a mutual friend with Barb Blomme, invited them to the region for a vacation trip. They liked it so much, they now call Memphis home, residing just north of town.

The couple recently opened their own business, the Chop Show, offering custom butchering and meat processing. Brandon and Crystal installed a walk-in freezer and numerous other tools of the trade in a facility at their home.

The Hellmanns aren’t new to the business. They owned and operated a similar shop in Arizona that made its name specializing in custom work.

“That’s why I got into this line of work,” Brandon stated. “I’d had meat processed before and I was tired of not getting what I wanted. So that is what we strive for, is customizing each job to meet the specific requests of each customer.”

The Chop Shop just recently opened for business and the couple has already prepared several hog and beef orders.

Brandon noted that he also offers custom processing for sheep and goats and will call upon his wild game experience out west to offer deer processing this fall and winter.

“It will be a little different than in Arizona, where hunting season predominately produced elk, but we are definitely looking forward to serving the area deer hunters,” he stated.

Regardless of the type of meat they are working on, the Chop Shop plans to offer a quick turnaround on orders.

“That is one of our top goals, to get orders processed as quickly as possible so people don’t have to wait on their meat,” Crystal said. “Hopefully they can call us a week or two in advance and we can stay on top of things to limit the wait.”

The Hellmanns have already begun to receive orders for animals that will be purchased at the 2006 fair. They are hoping the special event in June will help them meet more community members and further establish the business.

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