Steele’s Fine Custom Meats

As someone who grew up around meat processing and cattle farming almost all his life, Scott Steele has known he wanted to work within the agriculture industry from a very young age. Scott began by showing cattle while growing up in Auburndale, Florida. Later, he majored in diversified agriculture at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, before taking a job as a cattle buyer for National Beef in Kansas City. Now, Scott is living out another dream of his — being a business owner.  

Scott opened Steele’s Fine Custom Meats in October of 2022 after he and his wife, Carol, who grew up in Jefferson City, saw the potential in revamping the old Zesto Drive-In location. Steele’s Fine Custom Meats is the only independent butcher shop in Jefferson City and only one of a handful in the Central Missouri region. So far, business is going steady.

“We’ve had some good support from the community,” Scott says. “When I started, it was just myself and two part-time employees. Now, I have two full-time employees and two part-time employees.”  

With more staff, Scott has been able to make one major change already, adding a lunch menu to the shop. Customers can now enjoy a turkey, ham, or roast beef sandwich as well as a club sandwich, butcher sandwich, or salad.  

“You can add smoked chicken to the salad, and we make all of our dressings and sauces in-house,” Scott adds. “We’ve also started doing specials. We’ve offered a half rack of baby back ribs with cowboy baked beans, and our most popular special has been our steak burrito. We make them by marinating our filet mignon steak tips in some chimichurri sauce before it’s cooked and then put it together with some rice and pico de gallo.”  

And of course, Steele’s offers a plethora of high-level, premium meats for customers to enjoy at home. From Angus beef, pork, chicken, and lamb, which are offered year-round, to local farm-raised turkeys, which are offered around Thanksgiving, Scott sources most of his products from Missouri farmers and ranchers.   

“One of the best parts about Steele’s Fine Custom Meats is getting
to interact with our customers. I love talking with them about how they are planning
to cook their meat and, in general, just getting to know them a bit.”

Scott Steele

“Once it’s all locally sourced within the state, we bring it all here, hand cut everything, and age our beef between 40 to 60 days,” Scott says. “Plus, we have bison, duck, and occasionally we have a very small amount of seafood, like shrimp and lobster tail.” 

The shop’s display case is always full of eye-catching items such as pre-cut steaks, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, stuffed mushrooms, bacon-wrapped pickles, pork pinwheels, stuffed bell peppers, and a variety of brats (they make 12 flavors of brats in total). Come spring and summer, customers can find pre-made beef kabobs and loaded twice-baked potatoes; in the fall, they can find Italian meatballs and arrowhead burger patties, just in time for tailgating season. 

Scott keeps customers in mind by coming up with new ideas and presenting them with the best quality of meat possible at a fair price. He even offers goods such as seasonings and rubs, local honey, and barbecue sauces to offer customers brands that they typically wouldn’t find at a grocery store. Scott is still learning new things every day, but he credits his experience in agriculture for being able to run a business.    

“I had wanted to own my own business for over 10 years, maybe more,” Scott says. “I liked the idea of being able to set my own destiny. But growing up around this industry and working at a corporation really helped prepare me. Ultimately, it taught me how to work really hard at different things, and you have to be able to work hard all the time to run a business.”  

Scott also truly enjoys visiting with people and loves having the time to talk with customers. 

“One of the best parts about Steele’s Fine Custom Meats is getting to interact with our customers,” Scott says. “I love talking with them about how they are planning to cook their meat and, in general, just getting to know them a bit.” 

Although independent butcher shops are few and far between these days, Scott is hopeful that Jefferson City’s love for supporting small businesses and shopping locally will keep people coming through the doors.    

“Now that we’re coming up on our second year, we’re looking forward to growing a little bit,” Scott says. “We bought a big pair of shoes and now we’re just trying to fill them up. We’ve got a few more cool ideas up our sleeve to release throughout the year, and then we hope the community can help us with the rest.”