Spegal’s Prime Cuts will soon be coming to the Public Square.
The Fairland-based cattle farm will open its first store front at 48 Public Square, next to Bishopp’s Appliances, where it plans to offer meat from its Red Poll cows.
At the moment, the former Rupert’s Arcade building is being completely gutted. Dust, bricks, drywall and wood lie in clumps on the floor, but Amy and Greg Spegal already envision their completed layout.
“When you walk in, immediately to the left we’ll have a fresh meat display,” Amy said. “To the right, there will be display freezers.”
Near the back, there will be a place for a butcher and a rotisserie kitchen. Because of state codes, they will not “kill on-site,” but they do plan to hire a butcher to make cuts to customer’s likings.
In fact, that’s the end goal.
“We have everything processed and cut at Archer’s in Greenwood,” Greg said. “Our end goal is to cut everything on site.”
Greg said the process of renovating the building has been interesting, and they keep finding mysterious doorways, some leading to the upstairs apartments, some leading to the basement, and some completely walled off.
The Spegal Farm has already been selling meat for a while at local farmers markets. Customers can purchase halves and quarters by the pound, bundles, and by the piece, by reaching out to Amy at 317-395-6516 or the Spegal’s Prime Cuts Facebook page.
The farm began in 1954, when Greg’s grandparents purchased 90 acres and three Red Poll cows. Greg’s parents expanded the herd and the farm, and after he retired from a 29-year career in the military, Greg returned to run the farm.
“It’s better than a real job,” he joked. “When I started, Dad had 25 cows, so the first goal was to sell everything. I figured I’d reach out to my military buddies and they’d buy it all. I didn’t have as many hungry buddies as I thought.”
But the storefront is a new adventure for the business. The thought of opening a storefront had already been in the Spegals minds, but one of their customers got the ball rolling.
“One of our customers is a real estate agent, and we said something to her, and she called us a week later and had some buildings to show us,” Amy said. “We bought this building from Rupert (Boneham) and here we are.”
The farm’s Red Poll cows are raised in low-stress environments, without the use of dogs or electric prods. The Spegals take good care to ensure the cows are eating the right grasses and legumes, and they don’t use growth hormones or steroids in feed supplements. They raise the cows naturally.
“It’s interesting being the farmer,” Amy said. “We’re with that animal from inception to it being walked out of the storefront.”
It takes about 18 months for a cow to be fully grown and ready for processing. The Red Poll cow is more docile, and more efficient at gaining weight and producing milk than other breeds of cow. They’re known for producing juicy, tender, full flavored, well marbled meat, with a high ratio of lean meat to bone.
“When COVID hit, beef sales just went crazy,” Greg said. “I can’t make it fast enough.”
The store will be ready to open in an estimated three months. The Spegals have been working on the renovations for a couple of months already.
“We don’t know for sure,” Greg said, about an specific opening date.
“With running the farm and doing our current business, it’s taking us a little bit longer but we’ll get there eventually,” Amy added.
And they’re not worried about the construction on the Public Square.
“We spoke to a construction worker on the way over … and he said there will be enough room for people to walk in through the front [of the store],” Amy said.
“And they can park behind the bank,” Greg added. “And we’re excited. I think the downtown is going to be pretty nice looking when it’s done. That’s part of the reason we bought this building. She really thought that it was going to make a big difference down here.”
“I just think it’s a neat spot,” Amy said.