Keeping meat local from farm to fork, as F5 Smokehouse changes ownership
On Sept. 6, F5-Smokehouse changed ownership, as Remington and Jenna Pike took over the business from prior owners, John and Candace Frantz.
Jenna and Remington own Splitting Aces Livestock and began selling their meat approximately six years ago. The couple bought land in Crook County and moved to Mountain View Acres in March 2000.
The couple met at Oregon State University and moved back to Central Oregon after college and began their livestock business of grassfed beef. Remington was originally from Fossil, and Jenna was from Sisters, so "moving back to Central Oregon felt like home to us," commented Jenna.
In 2013, with Splitting Aces Livestock, they started their business with grass-fed, grass-finished beef with no antibiotics or hormones. After two years, they added pasture-raised pork — also with no hormones or antibiotics. In addition, they have grown and diversified with pasture-raised whole chicken and eggs.
"These last couple of years, doing all the farmers markets and the vending stuff, our customers were asking us to butcher our own meat. We didn't want to do that, and we kept saying no," added Jenna of the evolution of their business.
She noted that in the past two years, the couple began looking into owning a butcher shop, to take the process from bringing local raised meats into a shop — by processing them and selling them to Central Oregonians.
Remington also noted that they were seeing the bottleneck with meat packers in mainstream meat business during and after the pandemic, and a need for local meats.
"We are just really trying to bring the local food chain back home and really try to do something different," he said.
Splitting Aces Livestock supplies restaurants and food trucks in Sisters, Sunriver, Bend, Redmond and Prineville. They also do local farmers markets in addition to their new business.
"We just added this on top of that. We are really excited to really have our hands on from start to finish."
Long-term, Jenna indicated that they plan to set up their butcher shop by next year so that all meats will be 100% Oregon raised. Everything but seafood will be raised locally, which Remington and Jenna believe will set them apart. Their seafood is derived from a Northwest company.
"That is really going to make us different, because we here to support other local ranchers as well."
F5 Smokehouse has a fresh meat retail counter, as well as a frozen meat retail. Jenna indicated that they are replacing the fresh meat retail with only locally raised meats, where they can spotlight farmers and ranchers on their meat that was raised locally.
"There is really less handling of the product."
In addition to raising local beef, pork and chicken, F5 Smokehouse also processes and hangs wild game for hunters in the community, which can be processed into smoked meats and/or cut and wrapped for the customer. Domestic animals have a separate drip cooler, and wild game has a dedicated cooler, as well.
"The processing floor is dedicated to domestic processing, and then it gets cleaned and it goes into wild game processing, and they have their separated, designated freezers as well," Jenna pointed out.
The summer sausage, jerky, bratwurst and pork sausage are all made in-house. Jenna and Remington added that although there will be some small changes, they want to keep their customers happy.
They currently have open slots for fall processing for domestic animals and are also available for wild game this fall. Most wild game is drop-in.
"The customer feedback has been great on what they want to continue to see, and that has been really helpful. Really, I think our biggest change is going to be in bringing in locally raised Oregon meats to this store," she concluded.
To celebrate the change of ownership, the Pikes held a "Butcher Block Party," complete with barbecue beef sandwiches with sides. In addition, there was a DJ, with Tumbleweed Bartending available. The evet also had face painting and jumping castles for the younger crowd.
Attendees of the event reported that a good time was had by all, with lots of good food and good participation.
Owners: Remington and Jenna Pike
Address: 240 NE Fourth St.
Contact phone: 541-447-6377
Hours: Monday — Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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