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From head to tale...

How a hare-brained idea now brings ethically raised meat to your table and success to regenerative farmers.

Chapter One: Cooking Up an Idea

Once you start cooking with high quality ingredients, you don’t stop.

For Bytable cofounders Brett Dugan and Jacy Rittmer, sourcing the highest quality ingredients became nothing short of a (usually healthy) obsession. Together, they built and launched an online marketplace for local foods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But just like with sourcing the best ingredients, it didn’t stop there.

In their mission to find the best products, they also found the best food producers…

who were struggling to make ends meet, trying to scale their businesses, and fighting to survive in a food system that wasn’t built to support them.

With the rise of new technologies like blockchain and internet of things, Brett and Jacy saw the opportunity to use their food and technology backgrounds to create a new kind of food system - one that supports quality producers and gives consumers the tools to make the right decisions about the food they buy and the companies they support.

In April 2018, they were given the opportunity to grow their business in Colorado Springs, CO, and moved from their home state of Iowa to build the key to creating a sustainable, ethical food system.

(Read more about how Bytable makes doing the right thing easier for food producers using breakthrough technology here.)

Chapter Two: A Rare Connection

Bytable founders Jacy Rittmer and Brett Dugan with Mike Callicrate.

In Colorado Springs, they met Mike Callicrate - the man, the myth, and the legend of the beef industry.

Mike Callicrate is an independent cattle producer based in St. Francis, KS, inventor of the most popular humane cattle castration method worldwide, and an outspoken leader in addressing the rural, social and cultural impacts of current economic trends, particularly in the meat industry.

An advisor for the films Food Inc. and FRESH, and several books including The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation, Mike is revered as the “go-to expert” for understanding negative consequences of trends in the modern meat industry. (Read more about Mike’s story here)

Mike became a friend, mentor, supporter, and key partner to Brett, Jacy, and Bytable. Along with Ranch Foods Direct, the processing and retail store of Mike’s cattle business, they are working to rebuild our food system from the ground up through traceable and transparent food -Starting right here, with the Bytable Marketplace.

Chapter Three: Changing the Game for Quality Food Companies

A basket of vegetables.

The Bytable Marketplace gives high-quality, sustainable, and ethical food producers and food companies better market access for their products.

Because when the money goes to the right people doing the right things, amazing things can happen.

Through Bytable’s partnership with Mike and Ranch Foods Direct, we are bringing the best quality meat you can find to your doorstep, anywhere in the U.S.

Beef and pork products are processed at Mike’s on-farm mobile slaughter unit and in-store at their Ranch Foods Direct locations in Colorado Springs and St. Francis, KS, before being cold-packed and shipped directly to your doorstep. 

The Bytable Marketplace launched in early April of 2019, with plans for rapid expansion of products, producers, and services.

In November 2019, we welcomed on White Oak Pastures and Gunthorp Farms and their amazing pastured poultry and pork products to the Marketplace.

In December of 2019, we were awarded a USDA Local Food Promotion grant for $467,000 to support the growth of the Marketplace and to provide vital services to our producers. Read the press release here.

In January 2020, we welcomed Rafter W Ranch to the Marketplace with their AGA-Certified Grassfed Lamb!

Chapter Four: Tech to Table

Bringing Blockchain Traceability and Radical Transparency to your Kitchen.

An image of a phone showing traceability data for a carton of eggs.

Bytable started developing our blockchain traceability technology in January of 2018.

In February 2019, we demo'd it for the first time with consumers.

In March 2020, we're taking it to grocery stores nationwide with our traceability partner, Farmers Hen House.

Because even if you don't purchase your food from Marketplace, you still deserve to know where your food is coming from and where your money is going.

Expect to see this traceability technology applied to products on the Marketplace and elsewhere in the future! Read more about it here.

We are so excited for what the next chapter brings. Thank you for being here for it.

A signature of Jacy, Brett, and Mike.