Posted by Lindsay Hodge, Public Relations Volunteer
Jayme Jo, '09 OHS Alumni recently purchased the Onalaska Custom Meat shop right here in Onalaska. Here is an excerpt from my interview with her in July 2016. When she does get her hands on a website, we will be sure to update this page so be sure to check for updates.
How long have you lived in Onalaska?
I was born on Gore Road and with the exception of the little bit of time that I went away for college, I have pretty much lived in the same house my whole life.
Where have you been and what have you been doing since High School?
After I graduated I went to Walla Walla Community College, and got a technical degree in water resource management. I got a job mapping an irrigation canal systems in Oregon, which I loved but I wanted to do something else. I decided to get some more education at Oregon State and I started working on a degree in Ag Science. I am still doing that online, at their E-campus. I'll still be doing that for the next couple of years.
What brought you back?
I missed the farm and my horse. I missed being in the barn, mom and dad, my two older brothers. I just missed being around family.
Purchasing the meat shop is just one small step in the direction of much bigger plans. Eventually I want to produce my own meat from start to finish. I want to breed, birth, sourcing feed, I want it to be an honest, heartfelt product. I love my cows so much. I love to spoil them, but they have to support me back. I need to be able to make a living from them. Cows have this cool ruminant system that allows them to turn pure fiber into a useful protein. We can't eat grass and grow, but they can. They can eat grass and grow, and we can eat them and grow. I want them to be compassionately raised. I want folks to have honest, healthfully, heartfully, raised meat that a family can enjoy around the table.
I do hope to get a commercial smoke house where I'll be able to make and sell my own smoked products like sausages, too, but that is a few years out.
What do you do at the Meat Shop?
A farmer brings his slaughtered meat to me. I cut to specifications. I wrap and freeze and send it back all for a small fee. I can also help source meat for folks. Meaning if you are looking for a half a cow, or any other type of meat, I can tell you which farmer has them for sale.
Why “Fin's Meats”?
Fin is my dog. a cute little border collie. She is my child since I don't have any human children. When we were younger and raising calves, she would always go to the barn with me every morning. When I first started with calves I called my business Finley Calf Company, cause she was my best hired hand. She still goes to the barn with me every day, so I named it after her.
Where can folks find out more about you and your shop?
I am working on getting a website, but for now just call, Jayme Jo Ahmann (360) 986-4007
Posted by Lindsay Hodge, Public Relations Volunteer
Kevin and Christy Anderson officially opened The Mason Jar Gathering Barn for business early in 2015. Christy's plans for their barn had been rolling around in her head for some time before that, and she even hosted events before they opened for business. However, it was her daughter's wedding that gave them the catalyst they needed in order to turn their old-fashioned barn into what it is today. They ripped out old fluorescent lights, dressed up the inside and made their barn into an event center.
Just three months after that first event, the Anderson's property was threatened by the fire that ripped through the area last year. Christy and Kevin both feel like God had spared them for the purpose of bringing families and friends together at The Mason Jar. What a blessing it is, too! The Mason Jar can host just about any event, from a baby shower to a prom to a wedding or luncheon. There are many different amenities that you can add on, including a bride's room.
Christy and Kevin try to keep things real and easy. They offer a no-pressure experience and their motto is to try to cater to every clients need. “We don't want anyone to leave here and say, 'Man, I wish I had asked for (fill in the blank).'”
The Mason Jar Gathering Barn is quickly becoming the most popular event center around. They are booked nearly every weekend until Christmas and they even have a few reservations for early next year! As their popularity grows, so will the barn. The couple has big plans for expanding the barn and putting in a beautiful gazebo.
Here's an excerpt from my interview with them:
How long have you been in Onalaska?
All in all, about 22 years. My family has all kind of migrated to the area all around us.
What's your most favorite part about hosting these events?
The people. Families. Getting to know their stories. It's maybe even seeing that there are two families that don't get along with each other and being able to help folks get through issues. You get to see so many family dynamics and we've felt like we have been here to help and share our faith. Even if its a couple of seconds, we get to share these moments and our love for Jesus Christ with folks. That is the best part.
What's your least favorite part about it?
It is time consuming, and some times it takes away from my family. We both work full-time jobs outside of the barn, and nearly all of our weekends are booked into January of next year. We've had to bring in my daughter-in-law, Samantha Hutchison, and my daughter Karlee to help with different things so that I don't get overwhelmed.
Why did you decide to call it The Mason Jar Gathering Barn?
Well, I have a thing for mason jars. My mom always had jars around and so do I. A friend at work, suggested it because of that, and really it just fit. We decided to have the “Gathering Barn” bit because we really want it to be a place for families to come together.
What makes you different from other event centers?
We are a little different than most places because we aren't so focused on making money. We want to provide a really great experience. We want folks to come together and really enjoy themselves. We also try to find local businesses that will work with our clients and give them good deals.
For more information about The Mason Jar Gathering Barn, visit their Facebook page by clicking here, or by copying and pasting the link below.
This article was originally published in our 2015 Harvest Festival Event Guide. A special thanks to Marsha L. for her efforts in helping to put this one together!
This article was first published in out 2015 Harvest Festival Event Guide. Thanks to the folks at Hampton for all their support!
Hampton: Proud to be a part of the Lewis County Family.
Hampton operates the Morton and Randle sawmills providing direct and indirect family wage jobs in Lewis County.
Hampton is a family owned forest products company, headquartered in Portland, Oregon employing about 1,500 people in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The company owns 100,000 acres of Pacific Northwest timber lands which are managed on a sustainable basis and certified through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
We believe our employees are our greatest resource, and we strive to provide a safe work environment and a secure future for them, their families and the community in general. We are proud of our employees’ community activities and look forward to our ongoing commitment to be good Lewis County citizens.
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