Timber Ridge Cattle Company was started in 2006 when Pete and Cindy Woltz were looking for an alternative to the way they were raising cattle in their commercial feedlot operation.
Instead of the aggressive antibiotic regimen they had been using, the Woltzes decided to focus on a healthier way to raise cattle and in turn produce healthier beef by using flax seed in the rations, avoiding hormones and using antibiotics only on an as-needed basis. The result was pasture-fed beef richer in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids – healthier for the cows and the consumers.
In 2019, Kim Jackson, who had begun working for the Woltzes after closing her daycare business, and another longtime friend of the couple, Brian Deemer, went in together to purchase the operation and add their own touches. By then, the Woltzes had been renting a storefront in Osceola to help distribute their snack sticks and jerky as well as serve as a hub for the Iowa Food Coop.
“After experiencing the tremendous response to the site, Pete hatched the plan for the store,” said Jackson. “In 2016, he opened with just Iowa products, expanded with some non-Iowa products, then opened the kitchen with a Ninja blender for smoothies and a George Foreman grill to make grilled sandwiches.”
The next year, Deemer brought his championship BBQ to the store as a trial, and it immediately took off.
“We have followed the natural ebb and flow and flipped Timber Ridge Country Market from groceries with a single table and two chairs to six tables and seating for 20,” said Jackson. “Our menu has grown over time to include hand-cut coleslaw, pasta salad (using Iowa-made pasta and dressing and hand-cut Iowa-grown veggies when in season), Iowa-made cottage cheese and lettuce salad with Iowa-grown lettuce , local cheese and seasonal veggies.”
Jackson said they smoke 160 pounds of pork, 140 pounds of brisket and 40 pounds of chicken every other week to keep up demand for their BBQ sandwiches and other daily specials.
“In the winter, we have fun coming up with new soup recipes incorporating ingredients we carry in the store,” said Jackson. “In the summer, I love making our savory chicken salad. And year round we have ribeyes and grilled pork loins every single Thursday. Whatever day it is, our specials often sell out.”
Along with some “regulars” at Timber Ridge, as well as some who never miss their favorite special, Jackson said they also see a lot of travelers passing through. Being right off the interstate and two major highways, Osceola gets a lot of traffic, and Timber Ridge’s 5-star reviews on Google have drawn in many out-of-towners who are looking for delicious food in a comfortable atmosphere. It doesn’t hurt that the Amtrak station is barely a block from the store either.
“We get so many travelers looking for a small-town, mom-and-pop, quick stop for meals to suit every age and taste,” said Jackson. “We love to find out where they are from and headed to, and then we always try to set them up with road trip snacks or a cooler stocked with supplies for when they arrive at their destination.” Jackson added, “I hear compliments about how they love not only the food, but the laid-back, family feel, and that to me is a huge compliment.”
Jackson couldn’t be happier about her new venture as co-owner of Timber Ridge Cattle Company and Country Market.
“I love that I get to interact with almost every single customer. I love introducing them to something new and learning their favorites,” she said. “I strive to have staff that provides exceptional customer service every time.”
She also enjoys being on the lookout for new small businesses whose products can be brought to Timber Ridge’s shelves, and at the same time looking for other little shops to carry their snack sticks, which have become so popular that they are being shipped around the world .
Address: 117 W. Washington St., Osceola
Telephone: (641) 342-6002
Distance from Downtown Des Moines: 49 thousand
hours: 10 am-6 pm Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10 am-7 pm Thursday, 10 am-2 pm Saturday.
smoothies: On the menu since Timber Ridge Country Market first opened, the smoothies are not only delicious but also healthy. “We use no syrups or flavorings in our smoothies,” said Jackson. “We use all real fruits and vegetables plus Iowa-made vanilla or lemon Greek yogurt and unflavored, unsweetened almond milk.” They’ll even throw in a spoonful of local raw honey, and recipes can be altered for allergies. Choose from Ruby Red, Ultimate Orange, Yellow Sunshine, Green Machine or Purple Power.
desert: If you haven’t tried smoked pie yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. “We had some Thursday regulars who were begging for dessert but at that time we didn’t have an oven,” said Jackson, “so I used that as my reasoning until Brian said, ‘If it can be baked, it can be smoked .’ So we started smoking pies, cookies, brownies, dinner rolls and more. It’s a fun topic of conversation as well as a great way to expand someone’s smoked food experience. Many go on to experiment at home or buy a whole pie to take and share.”
catering: “We do a wide range of catering,” said Jackson. “From bagged meals for a few, to roasters of meat for a crowd. From casual build-your-own plates to cut-in-front-of-you prime rib dinner. We have done class reunions, wedding rehearsal dinners and receptions and birthday bashes.”
While You’re There: “During the weekdays and Saturdays until 2 or 3 pm our square has many boutiques to visit,” said Jackson. “On Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings, the farmers market is right across the street.” Jackson also recommends making a stop at Acquisitions antique shop and the Harvest Barn, which are both east of town on Highway 34, as well as visiting the many city and county parks, including East Lake Park with its new camping facilities.