100 Mile Diet, Bacon, Beef, Bison, Camelina Oil, Canning, Chicken, Food, Fresh, fresh bread, Hutterites, Local Food, Manley Bread & Honey Baking, Meat, Pepperoni, Pork, Preserves, Ranch House, Ranchers, Saskatchewan, Sausage, Shaunavon, Three Farmers
Those who know my husband, knows he sometimes refers to himself as a “meatatarian.” Not because he actually limits his diet completely to meat, but because if science ever does find a way to instill all of the nutrients required for healthy living right into meat, he’ll happily become one. Needless to say, there are few meatless meals in our household. That is until this past summer when the recall of meat from an Alberta meat processing plant due to the threat of E.Coli contamination, scared even our household into going meatless for a few meals. Then we stumbled upon the Ranch House in Shaunavon.
The brainchild of cow rancher Vince Stevenson who grew up around Shaunavon, to say that the Ranch House is a Meatatarian‘s Paradise would be an understatement. With all of its beef, bison, pork and chicken, all locally sourced and butchered, there’s little fear of contamination here. (The beef and bison comes from local ranchers, while the pork and chicken are sourced from nearby Hutterite colonies). They even offer seafood choices, and while 99% of it is naturally sourced elsewhere (there’s not a lot of oceans in the prairies), when available they’ll even offer some locally sourced fish.
My customers will tell you I stand behind the choices we make. – Vince Stevenson
Using those home-grown products, the team of the Ranch House have created some truly droolable products with the most amazing flavours. From tasty sausages, deli meats, pepperoni and jerky made fresh onsite, to their peppered bacon that has my husband practically leaping for joy.
But the Ranch House, does not just offer meat, while the other products they carry aren’t necessarily organic, they’ve all come from small producers and are created with purposeful intent. Only handmade, or small companies whose focus is on good, wholesome food.
One such product is the recent Dragon Den’s winners The Three Farmers Camelina oil, said to offer not only healthful benefits but also a rich flavour to the foods that are cooked in it. They also offer a wide selection of preserves made by Shaunavon resident Patsy Entem, who started making her extensive lists of preserves as a hobby, selling them at a Market Garden she started in her own backyard, until the Ranch House recognized a kindred spirit and hired Patsy to make preserves for them. From having a full-time day job, and making preserves for fun in the evenings, Patsy is now happy to be paid in her day job to do what she loves. So what is she doing with all that “free” time in the evenings? Why making homemade pies of course! Pies that are now also being sold every Friday.
Patsy’s is not the only baking that the Ranch House offers. Again with an eye to providing their customers with good food, they also offer fresh bread and baking every Tuesday and Thursday from Manley Bread & Honey Baking in nearby Consul, Saskatchewan.
For me, aside from the meat, not being a Meatatarian myself, I think one of the things that I enjoyed the most at the Ranch House was the people. Patsy was practically bubbling with enthusiasm, and the other staff members I met, were all so friendly and nice – even before they knew I wanted to write a story on them. While I haven’t yet had a chance to meet Vince face to face, I enjoyed how less “big successful corporate company persona” he was on the phone, and more how he seemed to be like any of us who want to make the world a little bit better than when we left it. Sure, he hopes the company is successful and that it becomes a profitable venture, but I believe him when he says he just wants food to go back to the way it once was. Where people knew where it came from, and knew the people that were providing it. Real food you could count on, without wondering what it might be tainted with.
With many more new ideas still to be implemented, Vince and his team are still learning as they go. But even if they still don’t think that they’ve fully figured out who they are as a company, my husband doesn’t care – they had him at “Meat.”
This has been more than I expected – I’m just a rancher and I’ve learned a tremendous amount – but we’ve still got a lot to learn and we’re learning every day.” – Vince Stevenson
How to GoHere: Located on Centre street in Shaunavon, the Ranch House is a big red barn looking building that’s not easily missed. To get to Shaunavon off Hwy #1, simply turn at Gull Lake’s Hwy 37 junction and go straight. Or follow our map here.
Gotta Go?: I don’t know about you but I don’t like my food shopping to mix with that other basic need. So like you always tell your kids – go before you go.
Good to Know:
- Exciting things are on the go for the Ranch House – up next? A Bacon Bar – you heard me. Soon to be featuring 5-6 different kinds of bacon including: Maple Bacon, Jalapeno Bacon, Original, Peppered and a couple of others that they’re still working on. We’ll keep you posted.
Living in rancher country there are a lot of other great local meat places around, but one of the many stand-out things about the Ranch House is that it doesn’t look like a kill floor, but rather has a beautiful ranch-themed interior, thanks to Vince’s wife Jillian.
- The Manley Bread & Honey products use flour they’ve milled themselves made from local grains in all of their products.
- Definitely taste the Vinceroni. A pepperoni made with beef and pork that arose after the staff kidded Vince that he needed to have his own signature product!