Small Biz: Chattanooga's Main Street Meats brings local farm food to market

Small Biz: Chattanooga's Main Street Meats brings local farm food to market

November 5th, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Main Street Meats partner Dan Key, left, talks to customer Tracy Sherrer about available products in their cooler Monday.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

• Name: Main Street Meats

• Location: 217 E. Main St. on Chattanooga's Southside

• Owners: Jim Johnson, Tom Montague, Dan Key

• Contact: 423-602-9568, or on the Web at

• Hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 am. to 4 p.m.

• Staff: Seven employees

• Opened: Oct. 1

• Business: The new Southside storefront offers a variety of beef, pork and chicken products grown from local farms with free-range or grass-fed animals. Billed as a neighborhood butcher selling meats the way they were distributed decades ago, the owners are trying to promote the "grow local" movement while offering fresher and more quality meats.

• Philosophy: "Old is the new new," Key said. "Working with local farms that are deeply committed to animal quality and care, we are changing the way that Chattanoogans know, experience and enjoy meat." Although Main Street Meats are usually priced above grocery meats, farmer Jim Johnson said they are better quality and healthier for consumers because they are grown to maturity naturally and come from farms within a 50-mile radius of the new store. "So far, the response from the community has been terrific," he said.

• History: Montague opened Link Forty One three years ago next to Niedlov's Breadworks to offer locally grown pork products. Main Street Meats is expanding that wholesale pork business with a broader menu of meats sold to both area restaurants and individual consumers. The new store is adjacent to Link Forty One in a 2,700-square-foot butchery shop.

• Farm suppliers: Cloudcrest, Sequatchie Cove, Belle Field Farm and Hoe Hop Farm, among others

• Restaurant customers: St. Johns, 212 Market, Alleia, Easy Bistro and Flying Squirrel, among others.

- Compiled by Business Editor Dave Flessner who may be reached at or at 757-6340.