Consumers are increasingly wanting to know where their food comes from — they value company transparency. Kansas City Cattle Co. (KC Cattle Co.), a Missouri-based, veteran-owned Wagyu beef company, is catering to consumer preferences with its transparent business model. Patrick Montgomery, CEO and founder of KC Cattle Co., shares his insights on his company’s background, current trends and plans for future growth.

Montgomery says that when he founded his company, transparency was always a part of his plan. “From mom, to calf, to plate, we wanted to own the whole process. We wanted to own this … so we could tell the story and educate consumers about why certain practices are well-founded or dumb (based on our beliefs),” Montgomery says. “I was naïve and didn’t realize how much capital this was going to take, but we are slowly working back towards that goal now.”

Montgomery says he wanted to sell Wagyu beef because he wants consumers to have a different sort of product than they might find in groceries. “We are trying to be the gold standard for Wagyu beef,” Montgomery says. “You don’t get there by taking [shortcuts] in the animals, the product, or the customer experience.”

KC Cattle Co. backs both its product as well as customer experience, Montgomery says. “If you check out our Google reviews, we have plenty of customers who had a bad experience (mostly with late delivery) and they talk about how blown away they were by our customer service,” Montgomery says. “We empower employees to think more about the customer being happy over how much it costs the company.”

Label claims have loopholes, but KC Cattle Co. surpasses USDA requirements in its delivery, Montgomery says. As “an example, to call something Wagyu beef, it has to be 50% Wagyu,” Montgomery says. “A majority of the animals we harvest are 75% or more.”

KC Cattle Co. raises their cows in a stress-free environment. “I think the most important husbandry practice is creating a stress-free environment. There are a lot of studies out now talking about high cortisol levels (stress hormone) creating tougher beef,” Montgomery says.

Hot dogs are a top seller for KC Cattle Co., Montgomery says. “Behind those, ribeyes, filet mignon, and strips are a few of our other best sellers,” Montgomery says. “The brats are amazing, but they didn’t receive the same publicity as our hot dogs. 

Montgomery says that adaptability in his business is paramount, and he learned the importance of that attribute during his time in the military. “Hard right, over easy wrong. This was something I heard in the military and it always stuck with me,” Montgomery says. Montgomery asserts that his military experience prepared him for entrepreneurship.

Montgomery also says that KC Cattle Co. tries to hire veterans as the company grows.

Looking toward future plans, Montgomery says that KC Cattle Co. is slowing on growth while focusing on processes and quality control. “Starting this year, it is time to take the market by storm,” Montgomery says. “We are opening more retail stores and expanding our customer outreach for the online store. I’m excited about what the next few years have to offer.”