Finney’s Stays Afloat After Flooding
The spring flooding of 2019 wreaked havoc across the state, including in Gibbon where GROW Nebraska member Finney’s Meat Market + Catering had a St. Patrick’s Day dinner to prepare.
The March 14 “bomb cyclone,” combined with saturated and frozen ground, left Finney’s parking lot on the east edge of Gibbon full of water.
Finney’s is owned by three siblings, Logan Oliver, Sonni Benge and Nicole Schuster. They purchased the business just one year prior to the historic flooding. The water just kept rising in the parking lot, which forced them to close their storefront for several days.
But, the siblings didn’t let Mother Nature stop them from cooking up a fabulous meal for the Elk’s annual St. Patrick’s Day fund-raiser.
“My brother and sister waded through water waist deep to get supplies for the Elk’s dinner,” Nicole said.
They prepared the meal at another location and did not let their customers down despite the challenges required to complete the job.
That’s the entrepreneurial spirit!
It’s that same spirit that prompted them to buy the local business from Jim and Kathy Finney and keep another small business afloat in their small rural town.
Finney’s specializes in smoked meats and cheeses and offers a variety of fresh items such as snack sticks, jerky, summer sausage and bacon. They also sell frozen meats, such as rib eye steaks and their popular cooked smoked brisket.
Finney’s meat comes from locally-raised beef. Logan specializes in cutting and processing the meats, while his sisters have focused on marketing products, greeting customers at the store and catering wedding receptions, anniversaries, parties and other special occasions.
Their most-requested meals are beef brisket and pulled pork, and prime rib was a hit during the holiday season. Finney’s provides the entire meal, including sides such as au gratin potatoes, baked beans and salads. They have prepared desserts ranging from cookies and brownies to raspberry chocolate tart and cheesecakes. They also prepare appetizers, such as charcuterie trays.
“We are pretty willing to customize about anything people would want,” Nicole said.
The siblings joined GROW Nebraska in 2019 and are hoping to start selling Finney’s snack sticks in the Buy Nebraska store soon.
Logan said the spring floods were just a minor hiccup in their business, and they discovered they could overcome just about any challenge. The flood waters luckily never reached the inside of the business, and water tests revealed no well damage.
The siblings are back in business and looking forward to working with GROW Nebraska to continue improving marketing strategies and product sales in the coming year.