Gary’s QuickSteak named 2021 Best Local Product by Russ’s Market

Gary’s QuickSteak named 2021 Best Local Product by Russ’s Market

Gary’s QuickSteak named 2021 Best Local Product by Russ’s Market 

Baker's Candies Nebraska box

Kearney, Neb. — GROW Nebraska is thrilled to congratulate Glenn Valley Foods for receiving Russ’s Market’s Best Local Product Award for 2021! The award was presented on July 15 at GROW’s annual MarkeTech Conference in Kearney, Nebraska.

The Best Local Product Award was established in 2018 by 501(c)3 nonprofit, GROW Nebraska and Russ’s Market — an employee-owned grocery fixture in the state of Nebraska — in order to highlight what they consider to be an exemplary local business in the state. These award winners display dynamic marketing strategies and diligent promotion of their products, which can also be found on the shelves of Russ’ Market.

This year’s winner, Glenn Valley Foods of Omaha, Neb., might be better-recognized by its top-selling product: Gary’s QuickSteak.

“Gary’s QuickSteak — they do a great job of promoting their products in our stores,” said Director of Marketing for Russ’s Market, Marty Jarvis. “They work with us on advertising support, and give us bunkers with videos that talk about the product. On Facebook and other social media, they spread the word that their product is in our stores. They’ve also been at the Russ’s Wine and Food experience with their samples. They don’t let their product just sit on the shelves.”

Gary Rohwer, a restaurant industry veteran, has been active in Nebraska’s restaurant landscape since the early 1980s when he created what he deemed a “quicker cooking and higher quality steak” for his cheesesteak restaurant chain in Lincoln. Eventually creating the popular PepperJax Grill and forming Glenn Valley Foods, Gary’s extensive contributions have culminated in Gary’s QuickSteak, a top-quality beef, chicken, and corned beef offering that cooks from frozen to ready-to-eat in minutes.

When asked about Glenn Valley Foods’ approach to promotion, VP of Marketing Jeff Bell said, “Really it makes my job easy — the product stands on its own. It’s high quality, cooks from frozen in minutes, and provides incredibly versatile meal choices.”

Because the company is relatively new, however, Jeff explained that, “Our goal is to get it out there to the marketplace. We’d like our product to become a household name, and so we don’t just get on the shelf and think our work is done. We’re going to the grocery partners and introducing our product, sending samples, telling them our story; we’re a family-owned business right here in the Midwest.”

GROW Nebraska and Russ’s Market are proud to partner on this award, and continue in their dedication to support and promote the local businesses and business owners who enrich life and the economy of our state.  

Russ’s Market has been a member of GROW Nebraska since 2009. B&R Stores, Inc., was founded in 1964 by Russ Raybould. During the past 55 years, the company has grown to include 20 stores under several banners including Russ’s Market, Super Saver, and Apple Market located in Nebraska and Iowa. 

GROW Nebraska is a nonprofit membership organization, serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses. The organization provides market access, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs and scholarship opportunities are funded in part by federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.

Story by Lauren Bonk, owner of the Curtain and Pen Copywriting Services, a GROW Nebraska member. Lauren hails from Kearney, NE, where she works as a freelance copywriter for small businesses, startups, and even larger corporate entities in need of professionally-written marketing content for their businesses and organizations. 

GROW Launches Gary’s QuickSteak into E-Commerce World

GROW Launches Gary’s QuickSteak into E-Commerce World

GROW Launches Gary’s QuickSteak into E-Commerce World

A tip from one GROW Nebraska member led Gary’s QuickSteak to a new partnership that could open doors to new sales around the country.

Tara Pieper, National Sales Director for Gary’s QuickSteak, said GROW Nebraska made it possible to sell their frozen meat products and WOW seasoning online to retail customers everywhere thanks to a new e-commerce platform.

“We are so blessed to be GROW Nebraska members,” Tara said. “They have been a Godsend, and they are just right in our back door.”

A Growing Company

Gary’s QuickSteak, which is based in Omaha, is the creation of Gary Rohwer, former Nebraska restaurant owner and founder of PepperJax Grill. Gary created a quick-steak product initially for restaurants as a way to make the process of food preparation more efficient. Gary developed a premium steak product that could be pre-sliced and pre-portioned before it reached restaurant kitchens eliminating chopping, shredding and tearing and making cooking quicker.

Today, Gary’s QuickSteak beef, chicken and corned beef (which were previously sold under the name PepperJax at Home) are sold retail making it faster for busy families to prepare protein-rich meals.

The product is made from beef sirloin and is pre-sliced very thin so that it cooks up quick from frozen in just a few minutes. It’s ideal for making Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, rice bowls, burritos, tacos, breakfast, ramen bowls, salads, soups and sliders. Each 4-oz serving has 23 grams of protein.

“We are over 200 percent growth since September 2017,” Tara said. “I would say the reason for it that it’s an awesome product. It solves everyone’s issue – time. It’s a quality product, and it’s a healthy product.”

Although Gary’s QuickSteak is sold in 2,200 locations across the Midwest and Western parts of the county, the company did not have an e-commerce site to make it easy for customers to buy online.

If they received an order request on social media, Tara said they packaged their popular WOW seasoning in a brown padded envelope and shipped it directly from the Omaha office.

“We knew we needed to break into the eCommerce business, but we didn’t want to do it ourselves,” Tara said.

A Tip From a GROW Member

Tara said she learned about GROW Nebraska through her company’s marketing consultant, Profit Source Group, an Omaha-based agency that serves entrepreneurs, restaurant owners and food vendors. Profit Source assists restaurant owners with menu development and design, food photography, marketing and business plans, website development, cost management, wait staff training and more. 

At Profit Source’s recommendation, Gary’s QuickSteak joined GROW Nebraska, who then connected the company with another GROW Nebraska member who was already shipping frozen meat products: Nebraska Star Beef.

Nebraska Star Beef produces all natural (antibiotic-free, hormone-free) Angus beef from its family-operated business located north of Holdrege.

The company also owns and operates three restaurants, Angus Burgers and Shakes in Kearney and Omaha and Sozo American Cuisine in Kearney, where its premium beef is served.

“It’s nice to help out other Nebraska companies,” said Kayla Pfister, office manager at Nebraska Star Beef. “We just got done building a warehouse that has a large freezer in it, so we want to make sure we are making use of our space to not only help with our shipping fulfillment services, but we thought we could also help a Nebraska company that is just starting out in shipping products.”

Kayla said Nebraska Star Beef first started shipping its frozen beef in about 2012, and they initially hired a fulfillment company to store and ship their products. About four years ago, they decided to handle their own shipping and built a small garage to do so.

“We basically outgrew the garage, so we put in a large warehouse behind our office at our feed yard, and now we have lots of room,” Kayla said.

Nebraska Star Beef now handles the shipping part of Gary’s QuickSteak online sales, while GROW Nebraska manages the orders through its Buy Nebraska site.

“They totally broke us into the ecommerce market,” Tara said of GROW Nebraska. “It was so hands off for us. They did everything working with Nebraska Star Beef and their own tech team.”


GROW Nebraska Benefits

Besides the partnership with Nebraska Star Beef, Tara said Gary’s QuickSteak has benefitted from its GROW Nebraska membership by participating in the Nebraska State Fair pop-up store, through appearances on NTV and being a featured monthly GROW product. In addition, GROW Nebraska has helped Gary’s Quick Steak with online marketing using Google ad words.

“They have fun with what they do, and they are diligent and don’t miss a beat,” Tara said of GROW Nebraska staff.

She also appreciates the educational opportunities that GROW organizes, including the recent MarkeTech conference, which Tara said included top-notch presenters who shared tips to help them grow their business even more.

Kayla at Nebraska Star Beef said she appreciates the networking opportunities through GROW Nebraska and being able to learn from others and then being able to help newer companies.

Look for Gary’s QuickSteak products at more than 2200 grocery stores across the Midwest and West Coast and on GROW Nebraska’s Buy Nebraska store: where a combo pack that includes four 12-ounce packages of sirloin and three 12-ounce packages of chicken sells for $67.

Story by GROW Nebraska member Kristine Jacobson,