We all know and love the Wyoming Meat Market—Saturday grill outs, slammin‘ sandwiches, and more recently, an impressive selection of eclectic imbibements. The market changed hands a few years ago, and its current owner, Shelbi Nation, has worked diligently to preserve tradition while continuing to innovate and grow into new areas. Hear more about Shelbi’s journey, and what’s next for the market, in our exclusive Q&A below.

Wyoming Community Cookbook

Can you talk about your journey from working at the Wyoming Meat Market to becoming the owner?

My journey from working at the Wyoming Meat Market to becoming its owner has been a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. It all began with a passion for meat and a strong desire to make a mark in the industry.

I started my career at the Wyoming Meat Market as an apprentice. It was here that I learned the ropes of the trade, from the basics of meat selection and cutting to understanding the various cuts of meat and their best uses. I was fortunate to work alongside experienced Wyoming’s previous butcher, Jim, who was not only skilled in his craft but also incredibly supportive in teaching me the intricacies of the business.

Jim, who had become a mentor to me, approached me with the idea of taking over the business. This was a pivotal moment in my journey. It was a testament to the trust and confidence they had in my ability to carry on the tradition of the market and serve the community.

Becoming the owner of the Wyoming Meat Market was a dream come true. It meant taking on new responsibilities, from managing the finances and staff to making strategic decisions about the market’s future. I embraced these challenges wholeheartedly, driven by my passion for the business and my deep connection to our customers.

Today, as the proud owner of the Wyoming Meat Market, I am committed to upholding the legacy of quality and service that has been the cornerstone of our market for years. I work closely with my team to provide the finest cuts of meat to our loyal customers while also exploring new avenues for growth and expansion. My journey from a butcher to the owner has been a remarkable one, and I look forward to the future with excitement and determination to continue serving our community with the best in meat products and service.

What has it been like being a female butcher in a traditionally male-dominated industry?

Being a female butcher in a traditionally male-dominated industry has been an experience where I’ve aimed for gender not to be a factor, because it truly isn’t. My journey in this field has been defined by my passion for the craft, my dedication to providing the best meat products, and my commitment to serving the community.

In my view, the quality of my work and the satisfaction of my customers should be the focus, rather than my gender. While there may have been challenges along the way, I’ve always approached them as opportunities to showcase my skills and expertise. I believe that anyone, regardless of their gender, can excel in this industry if they are willing to put in the effort and continuously strive for excellence.

I’ve had the privilege of working with supportive colleagues and customers who value the quality of the meat and service I provide, regardless of who I am. Over time, it has become evident that what truly matters is the passion and dedication I bring to my work and the positive impact I have on my community.

In the end, being a female butcher in this industry has reinforced my belief that gender should not be a limiting factor in any profession. It’s about skill, commitment, and a love for what you do. I’m proud to be a part of the meat industry, and I hope my journey inspires others to pursue their passions without the constraints of gender stereotypes.

How did you decide to keep certain traditions going, like the weekend grill outs?

Keeping traditions like our weekend grill outs alive at the Wyoming Meat Market has been a deliberate and heartfelt decision. I’ve always been a strong advocate for preserving what works, especially when it comes to traditions that hold special significance for our community.

Wyoming meat market Saturday grill outs

The weekend grill outs have been a beloved tradition in Wyoming for many years. They bring the community together, creating a sense of belonging and shared experiences. When I took over as the owner, it was important to me to maintain and even enhance these events.

I also believe in the power of tradition to create a sense of continuity and identity. By continuing the weekend grill outs, I aim to honor the legacy of the market and its place in the Wyoming community. I want our current customers to know that we respect and appreciate their loyalty, and I want to ensure that their children and grandchildren can enjoy the same experiences.

In a world that’s constantly changing, traditions like these provide a sense of stability and comfort. They remind us of our roots and the things that truly matter. So, my decision to keep the weekend grill outs going is a testament to my commitment to community, tradition, and the belief that some things are worth preserving for generations to come.

Can you talk more about the additional services you offer, like catering?

Our expansion of services at Wyoming Meat Market has been an exciting journey, and we’re thrilled to offer more to our customers. Catering has always been part of our offerings, but we’ve taken it to new heights by drawing inspiration from my mom’s successful restaurant and brewery up north.

One significant addition to our repertoire has been the introduction of a bar and obtaining a full liquor license. This is a game-changer for us, as it allows us to offer a wider range of beverages during our events. We take pride in offering natural wines and craft beer, exclusively from my father’s brewery, Lake Rat Brewing in Celina, Ohio. This means we can provide unique and locally sourced drink options that pair perfectly with our food offerings.

My personal passion for wine and craft beer has been a driving force in this expansion, and I’m thrilled to bring these options to our customers. We’ve also created a welcoming environment for our customers to enjoy these beverages by hosting live music events. These events, featuring talented local musicians, add a fantastic atmosphere to our wine tastings, lobster bakes, and hog roasts.

We’re always brainstorming new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting. Our pop-up events have been a hit, where we bring in other vendors or talented chefs to our butcher shop, offering a variety of culinary experiences. It’s all about adding spice and diversity to what we offer.

And for those early risers, we’ve introduced a Saturday morning breakfast service complete with Bloody Marys and mimosas. It’s a great way to kick off the weekend and spend time with the community.

The journey is ongoing, and we’re excited to see what else we can bring to the table.

Be sure to try this Meat Market-inspired recipe at home:

Cowboy Grilled Cheese

  • House-smoked Wagyu brisket
  • Sourdough bread
  • American cheese
  • Grilled onions
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • BBQ sauce
  1. Pre-order your house-smoked brisket from the Meat Market or use homemade brisket.
  2. Thinly slice a vidalia onion; saute with a bit of butter over low heat until soft and golden; set aside.
  3. Butter both sides of your sourdough; set aside.
  4. Warm a sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add one slice of bread and toast lightly; flip over.
  5. Add cheese to the toasted side of the bread. Then layer on brisket, onions, and jalapenos. Drizzle with BBQ sauce.
  6. Top with second slice of bread. Flip entire sandwich and continue to toast until both sides of the sandwich are browned and center ingredients are warmed through.