From the time he learned to walk, Mathew Taylor, of Dunmore, has been in and around butcher shops. It was a family thing that began with his granddad, Raymond Taylor. The family would butcher livestock to fill their freezers and those of their friends.
Now, Taylor and his business partner, Jeremy Kloeker, have their own butcher shop as part of their business, Ray of Hope Farm.
The farmers began in 2015 with five cows they bought from Keith Beverage and have slowly grown the business to include the operation of Arlene Rexrode’s farm, the butcher shop and firewood processing.
“We got hooked up with Arlene Rexrode,” Taylor said. “She called me and said, ‘I want you to run my farm.’ We’ve been up there, this will be the fifth year. We combined everything.”
At this time, the farm only processes meat for the families’ own use, but hopes to become USDA certified to be able to process and sell meat.
“I’d like to build something where I could sell meat, kind of like Trent’s does,” Taylor said. “That’s the future plans.”
For now, Taylor and his crew, including Alan and Justin Sisler, who were trained in meat processing, are happy with turning up the country music station and processing beef and pork for their families.
The butcher shop, which is located in Dunmore, is just the beginning of the expansion of the family business. For years, the Taylors have made maple syrup on the family farm, and Mathew said he is in the process of building a sugar shack behind the butcher shop to expand maple syrup pro- duction.
With his eyes set on the future and possibilities of expansion of the farm business, Taylor keeps one thing in mind.
“It’s family owned,” he said. “We’re not a big farm, but it’s big enough.”