We had the good fortune of connecting with Kara Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kara, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As a fifth generation rancher it was imperative to me that the ranch not only continue to exist but that it should exist in a way that payed respect to the over 100 years of family heritage that made the ranch possible. I have embodied that in Colorado Craft Beef by finding the best way possible to share the ranch with the public and engage with a broad cross section of people that allows my family’s ranching heritage to be a part of many families daily lives across Colorado and beyond.
What should our readers know about your business?
Our business is based on providing the best quality beef and eating experience to customers across the country. We are able to accomplish this mission by raising the cattle ourselves and working with top performers in other sectors of the industry to allow the product to be some of the best beef you can find. We age all beef for 2-3 weeks before it’s processed while feeding local by products to give unique flavor and profile to each steak we sell. Starting this business was a challenge. As you can imagine, shipping a perishable product nationally was a large hurdle to overcome, and while there are always small challenges around that system we are happy to say that it’s running as good as we could hope. The other large hurdle we struggle with is general misinformation in the food system. Some labels don’t mean what the public thinks they mean, and other labels mean almost nothing at all. The grey area of marketing in this space has created some challenges that we have had to work hard to overcome. Our brand is as close to the traditional ranch model as it gets. Without going into the nuances we will simply state, we are stewards of the land and the livestock, we love what we do, and we do it with 100% transparency for anyone that would like to take a look please let us know.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
With any luck there would be a great band playing at Red Rocks during the timeline in question. The natural beauty of that facility coupled with some great music is pretty hard to beat. The only thing that might come close is being at our ranch, on a good horse, at sunrise, during the summer months where you can sit on top of a hill and see for miles and appreciate the pure silence. During our trip we’d also make time for some good sushi, green chili and perhaps a visit to Ratio Beerworks in Rino.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been a large amount of people that have influenced and guided me in my journey. From the faculty at Texas Tech, and West Texas A&M to the many veterinarians, fellow ranchers and other industry professionals I’ve had the pleasure of working with in many facets of the industry, I could spend days sending thank you notes and still feel like I owe more thanks. The agriculture industry is a community that I’m very proud to be a part of and I am humbled by the opportunity I’ve been blessed with to share our story with the masses. That being said I owe the most thanks to my dad. He’s operated the family ranch since the mid 70’s and provided an example of hard work, dedication and love for the ranch life that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Without his guidance, mentorship and support I wouldn’t be the person I am today, for that I’m very grateful. I’m also very thankful for my husband Jeff. He’s been with me every step of the way with CCB, and I know he shares in my opinion that what we are doing with our company isn’t about profit and loss but about engaging with the public in a way that brings them closer to where their food comes from.