Brett Galloway spends his Sundays in Parma selling packages of T-bone steaks and rolled rump roasts. On Wednesdays, you’ll find him in a parking lot at the Cleveland Clinic. Both locations are outposts of the North Union Farmers Market, but Galloway enjoys taking his show on the road. His stand is a concession trailer retrofitted with two freezer cases, a counter and a “serving” window cut into the side. He hitches the mobile meat market up to a truck for the twice-weekly trips from Nova, south of Oberlin, where he tends a 150-head herd, plus 250 calves that will end up being sold off to other ranchers. His wife, Andrea, often comes along to keep him company and lend a hand.
A farm boy himself, Galloway bought the place in 1992. “I started raising beef 10 years ago,” says the 44-year-old, “because my son, Chase, was getting to that age where he needed something to keep him busy and out of trouble. I decided to do it all-natural, because I’m so opposed to the hormones and drugs they use with commercial cattle.”
Galloway’s animals are fed a 100 percent vegetarian diet of grass and grain that comes primarily from his own 100 acres and gives the meat a distinctive flavor. “About half the people who buy from us say they’re concerned with drugs and food safety,” explains Galloway, who also works off his farm as a butcher for three meat-packing plants. “The others just like it. Me, too. I can’t order a steak in a restaurant. It just doesn’t taste good to me.”
Galloway has always had a soft spot for cattle. His dad raised them, along with milk cows, and so did his grandpa. “I enjoy being around the animals. I’ve cared for them my whole life.This is what I’ve always wanted to do with my life and share with my children.”