SBA is Helping Stittsworth Meats Make the Cut in Northern Minnesota

Danielle and Mychal Stittsworth at the SBA Awards Luncheon

For close to 25 years, Stittsworth Meats has served the Bemidji area quality meats with a side of excellent customer service and dedication to their community for dessert.  During Small Business Week in 2016 its lender, the Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, honored Stittsworth Meats for those things and the business success that has followed from them.

 Started in 1993 by brothers, Corey and Clay Stittsworth, Stittsworth Meats is full-service meat market and butcher shop business that served individual and commercial customers. When brothers Corey and Clay first began they served brats at The Home Sport and Travel Show and shortly after that, the Bemidji Water Carnival, to raise profits and the shop’s profile. The brats turned out to be a huge success and they began swiftly getting many requests to serve at other events.

In 2010, when Corey’s son, Mychal Stittsworth, was ready to buy the business, it was an SBA guaranteed loan that helped make it possible. Additional SBA guaranteed loans have provided working capital and helped with the purchase of a bigger facility.

The menu now includes turkey drumsticks, old fashioned hot dogs, pepper sticks, and several brat flavors. The meat market sells a variety of beef, pork, chicken, turkey, bison, lamb, and deli meats and cheeses. It also provides wild game processing for deer.

Mychal has added to more than just the menu since taking the reins.  He’s been recognized for driving up sales through his clever and consistent use of social media.  Stittsworth Meats’ Facebook page has nearly 40,000 followers.  That’s well over double the population of Bemidji where the market is located.  It keeps its followers interested with photos of its creations, such as a heart-shaped steak for Valentine’s Day and brats hanging fresh on the racks, and by not pushing product and advertising first.

Up until 2015, the business operated out of 1,500 square feet of leased space. With an SBA 504 loan, a larger 2,950-square-foot existing building across the street became its new home.  As an Air Force veteran, Mychal qualified for a Veteran’s Loan Advantage Rebate, which gave him a $3,000 rebate off the loan’s closing costs.

In addition to serving great meats to its customers, Stittsworth Meats is a strong community supporter.  Mychal is on the board of directors for the chamber of commerce and Bemidji State University (where he is also an adjunct professor) Foundation, he co-founded the Entrepreneurs Meet Up, and is an active participant in the Bemidji Jaycees, City of Bemidji planning meetings, Bemidji Wrestling Club and The Hardwater Classic, AMVETS,  Veteran Solute Benefit, and more.  Mychal’s wife, Danielle, is an early childhood development teacher.  Their children, ages 5 and 7, love working at the store and always tell people that’s what they want to do when they grow up.  When it’s their turn to buy and make the business their own, the SBA will be there to help make continue the family tradition in Bemidji, Minn.

Company Name: 
Stittsworth Meats
Bemidji, MN