At Niman Ranch, we have amazing distributors from all over the country who make sure our product gets to the best chefs and restaurants. Today we spotlight our newest distributor from Southern California, West Coast Prime Meats.
West Coast Prime Meats is one of the largest independent distributors in the southwest. They focus on premium center of the plate products, including Niman Ranch beef and lamb, and deliver it to the finest restaurants, hotels, resorts, and country clubs throughout southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii.
We asked Nathan Bennett, the President, and Chief Financial Officer, of West Coast Prime Meats to share why they are unique and why they chose to distribute sustainable and humanely raised meat from Niman Ranch.
Q&A with West Coast Prime Meats
Q: What makes West Coast Prime Meats unique compared to the competition?
A: West Coast Prime Meats is different and special for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the bulk of the management team comes from the restaurant space, which gives them intimate knowledge of what chefs and restaurant operators need. For example, we work with chefs on custom cuts and trims, custom blends, and custom packaging. We also offer flexible order and delivery windows. The broad line distributors and their operating companies promise these things, but when push comes to shove, it is about dollars and cents for them. Meaning, early order cutoffs, order minimum charges, case breaking charges, etc.
Second, we portion cut steaks, grind beef, dry-age beef, and portion poultry onsite in our production rooms in Brea CA. Most other distributors only produce one or two of these products onsite, and all the other items are outsourced or come in a truck from an out of state production facility. As a result, our competitors may be able to compete with our quality and price mix in a single category, but they can’t compete with our overall quality and price mix across the entire center of the plate product basket.
Lastly, we are honest with integrity. When a customer asks for never-ever products, they receive never-ever products. If they pay for prime beef, they get prime beef. If we make a mistake, we own it, handle it and back our customer and our sales team and support staff. For some reason and unfortunately, this seems to be a dying trait these days.
Q: Do you have a special segment you distribute to?
A: Though West Coast Prime Meats delivers to the broadly defined “foodservice” industry in the South West, we tend to focus on chef-driven fine dining, casual dining, fast casual restaurants and hotels that prepare and serve high-quality center of the plate entrees.
Q: How does Niman Ranch fit into West Coast Prime Meat’s position on meat quality, sustainability of our food system, support of farmers or humane animal care?
A: Idealistically, it would be great if all customers and the general public demanded products that are truthfully sustainable, humane, and natural and had no deference to the price of these products. However, the reality is that only a small percentage of people, including chefs, really know and understand what sustainable, humane and natural actually mean and are willing to the pay a premium for these types of products.
However, the good news is that Niman Ranch is coming to West Coast Prime Meats at the right time in the evolution of our business, our product mix, our customer mix as we see higher expectations and more demand for responsibly sourced products. Every day we hear more and more chefs asking educated questions such as “what really is natural” and “what does sustainable really mean?”
As a company, we are now growing to know and understand the true answers to these questions, so it becomes our job to educate and espouse the correct information to our customers and chefs so responsible products and sustainable themes, like those that Niman Ranch represent, can continue to gain market share.
Are you a chef or restaurant owner looking for a distributor in your area? Check out our list of distributors that can bring high quality humanely raised meat to your door.