In 2018, Chef Nic Bryce discovered a new way to channel his culinary talents by making dry-cured meat products as a side project of his Rendezvous food truck and catering. Also known as charcuterie, Grotto Meats’ products are made from high-quality ingredients. Bryce focuses on creating the best product possible: “The recipes are really important to me—even the salt and all the ingredients that go into it,” he said. Grotto Meats offers a variety of assorted products for retail and wholesale purchase on rotation depending on availability. The business, processing space, and products are rigorously inspected and approved by the Montana Department of Livestock, and Bryce will finalize his license as a USDA meat plant in 2022. Currently, shoppers can find the products in local stores and restaurants.
Although Grotto Meats was started as a side project, Bryce knew his goal was to turn it into a full-time business, and he looked to Prospera to make the next step. Bryce joined Prospera and took the Power Up course to create the business plan for Grotto Meats. Bryce has also participated in no-cost business counseling to help him navigate the paperwork when applying for grant funding to expand into a larger space upstairs from the current location in the Bon Ton building. This larger space will allow Grotto Meats much-needed room for refrigeration, processing, packaging, and labeling as well as limited retail space.
With the help of Prospera, Bryce said, “I’ve been able to grow with much more intention and patience. Seeing what it looks like to be a bigger business on paper was helpful. I feel like one thing about Prospera is it’s a super strong resource that’s always there for me. You do feel like you're part of the network, and they have your back and want to see you succeed.”
Bryce’s dream is to expand his fully licensed, local meat plant that shows his labor of love through his high-quality, dry-cured meat products and to pass that knowledge onto his children; he sees his passion project turning itself into a family-run business.