Photos Cameron Flaisch
Oftentimes, entrepreneurs and business people in small towns believe that in order to truly achieve success, you have to make it in a big city.
If that is the thought process in a town like Rome, Ga., you would have to “make it” in Atlanta. Brian Moore, co-owner of Lyons Bridge Beef, LLC is working to turn that theory on its head as it does not apply to him or his company.
“People make suggestions like, ‘why don’t you try to get into the restaurants in Atlanta? Why don’t you expand the business to Atlanta?’ I always ask them, ‘Why?’ We are successful here in Rome; people like our product here in Rome. Why not just stay here in Rome? It’s where I’m happy and where I can see that our business makes my friends and neighbors happy,” says Moore.
Moore recalls how the business, Lyons Bridge Beef, began.
“Five years ago, my husband purchased a farm in Cave Spring, Ga. The initial purchase was of 711 acres, but we kept buying land and ended up with 1040 acres. He wanted to find something that would make the farm prosperous, so we hired Micah Studdard from Berry College who has a degree in Cattle Management. From there our cattle farm was born.
“The initial plan was to simply herd some heads of cattle,” Moore continues, “and then breed and sell them to other farms so that they could grow their herds.” It has grown into so much more than that, however.
“My husband and I lived in London for three years. He is an investment banker, so we have had to relocate a few times. While in London, I attended a culinary school called Le Cordon Bleu. Once I graduated, we came back to Rome, which is his birth place. I considered going into the restaurant business but I had to be honest with myself. I did not want to work long hours or live that lifestyle. I wanted to do something different with the farm business,” says Moore.
Moore then decided that creating a retail division of his business was the way to go.
“We started out selling our meat online and by word of mouth. We built a retail store on the farm and it turned out to be very successful,” Moore recalls. “I would also do pop-ups at events with our products, and those experiences showed me that there was opportunity for us on Broad Street in Downtown Rome.
“I began searching for somewhere on Broad to open a store and was approached by the prior owner of Riverside Gourmet, Kevin Dillmon. He suggested that I buy that site. We performed an evaluation and found that Riverside Gourmet was indeed a good fit for us. So, in November of 2018 we purchased it and began selling our beef at our new Broad Street address,” explains Moore.
Focusing back on the ranch, Moore describes the farm’s target number of cows to house, which is around 400 mother cows. They meet that target amount, along with their six bulls where Studdard performs artificial insemination for reproduction.
“We buy high-quality reproduction products so that we can control the quality of our beef. The bull is sent in for cleanup duties, meaning if the artificial insemination is unsuccessful, the bull will be able to detect that and impregnate the cow. Bulls are rotated on a regular basis. Our goal is to ensure our beef is consistent and is very good quality,” describes Moore. “Additionally, all of our cattle are pasteur raised, meaning they eat the grass on the farm for most of their lives. It’s all natural, with no antibiotics, hormones or steroids. After approximately 12 months, we begin a grain-finish diet plan for the cattle. For about two months, we give them good grains and fats, which makes their meat very tasty after they are processed,” Moore explains.
All of the meat at Lyons Bridge Farm is processed in Alexandria, Alabama.
“Late last year, we also extended into the lamb and pork market. Our farm is now home to 36 lambs and 12 hogs,” says Brian Moore.
Lyons Bridge Beef’s retail sales include purchases for home cooking, grocery stores, as well as local restaurants.
“We host wine tastings and other special events at Riverside Gourmet. I cook for the events and sell our recipes, and that is all very successful for us. I feel that this business is the right practice of my culinary degree, because it is not working in a restaurant for a ton of hours per week,” laughs Moore, reinforcing how much he does not want to have the responsibility of owning a restaurant.
The recipes Lyons Bridge Beefs sells include bar-b-que sauces, meat seasonings, beef and pork rubs and a multitude of mustards and salad dressings. Moore also provides a professional knife sharpening service.
Along with his involvement in the community, Moore is on the Board of Directors for an exciting gathering that is coming to Rome. Beginning on the first Saturday in May, the Between the Rivers Farmer’s Market will be open for business every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. offering a variety of fresh products. You can also purchase Lyons Bridge Beef at Riverside Gourmet Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
As the weather warms and the time draws near to roast a nice piece of meat on the spit, remember that buying local meat products often leads to a better tasting and more nutritious meal. Lyons Bridge Beef is now offering more than beef, and when it comes to enjoying a gourmet meal, no foodie will kick variety off of their plates.