Pandemic proves to be busy season for Pasco butcher

PASCO, Wash. – The Knutzen’s in Pasco is a family butcher and meat business decades in the making.

Steve Knutzen started the company in the 70’s, after working in a similar field in Finley and learning more about the career.

“And I thought to myself ‘well I wanna do that,'” he said.

Over the years, the Knutzen family brought in more employees into their Pasco business, who have since become like family.

To this day, Steve can still be found working with his hands in the shop, alongside one of his sons, Caleb.

“My dad’s work ethic just blows me away – he comes in with his walker, and he’s there boning the rounds, he can do it all and sometimes he will,” Caleb said.

RELATED: Local ranchers combat shortages, rising meat costs

The Knutzen’s say since the pandemic started, they have not slowed down.

Even though they had to pivot some services and adapt to the demand for online ordering and curbside pickup.

“We were essential and everybody had to eat. We compromised and we closed down the lobby and waited on people out of a window, then meat got excessively high and we had a lot of meat lot production places close down and they needed animals done so we were just very busy,” Steve said the need to quickly process beef and poultry fell on them.

“We had to evolve and expand our operation to serve more people, and you can see how hard my dad works, he comes in everyday even on the weekends just to check on everything and really take care of people in the local community because that’s what it’s all about,” Caleb added.

At Knutzen’s they process custom orders if someone purchases beef or poultry from a local grower. They also have inventory stocked for customers who’d like to come in and purchase a cut of meat to take home.

Caleb said the pandemic has increased the demand for custom orders.

“People want to know where their meat comes from, so whether it’s painted hills natural beef, grass run farms or Mary’s chickens we know th
growers and have the stories behind how the animals were treated,” he said.

“It’s good meat too, you know exactly what you’re getting,” Steve said.

Caleb believes rising prices and shortages at the grocery store are driving people to purchase whole cows from local ranches, which are harvested and then processed at Knutzen’s.

However, there could be a change at the supermarket on the horizon.

Recently, the Biden-Harris administration pledged $1 billion to restore the meat and poultry supply chain.

Caleb said their shop will always be there, no matter the situation at big chain stores.

“So we have a really interesting part of the full-come point of meat processing in the local community and when the times hit and it’s hard; people are having a hard time finding meat, we have the ability to process that locally grown beef,” he explained.

Regardless of pandemic times or not, Caleb and Steve said they’ll keep doing what they love.

They encourage anyone to connect with a local farmer, rancher or butcher and of course, to buy locally grown meat.

“It’s our family’s business and we’re always excited when people support us and discover us, I think that’s the fun part,” Caleb said.

“Thanks for working with us, I hope we helped you out and we’ll do it for many more years,” Steve added.

Knutzen’s offers fresh cuts of meat daily, along with other grocery items. Soon, you can order meat in bulk from them; learn more here.