As I mentioned in (8) Continuous Transformation – The Post Microsoft Mix | LinkedIn we have one more venture that was kicked off last year "Yellowstone Foods", that as we head into 2023 is now fully up and running.
My partner Ted O'Neal (a 4th generation Montanan) and I started Yellowstone Foods just over a year ago, with a focus on creating great tasting, natural snacks, made in Montana. The company offers a range of baked good and jerky's based on local ingredients and produced in the towns of Butte and Ronan.
The journey to get to full launch has taken over a year, with a lot of learning about food production, licensing, local regulations, and other nuances for starting a small food-based business. Fortunately, we have a great team, led by an accomplished Chef and GM and an experienced Chief Operating Officer who have gotten us from concept to fully functioning across production and sales within the last year; About – Yellowstone Foods LLC (ysfoods.com)
There were a few principles we focused on as we get this up and running
- Natural - We've focused on using local ingredients without the use of preservatives or additives to create "natural" products. We also source the majority of our ingredients from within state allowing us to qualify for the "Made in Montana” seal Home - Made in Montana (madeinmontanausa.com)
- Reduced Waste - Given that we are creating snacks that are good on the go "Fueling your Montana Adventure" we are using compostable packaging on all of our products. In addition, all the scrap from the jerky is being turned into dog treats so they don’t go to waste and any extra, or close to expiring, baked products are donated to local charities in Butte.
- Local based production and staff - The company's headquarters and main kitchen our in Butte housed in the historic Gamers Café (below), with additional capacity for jerky provided by the great program in Ronan. All our staff live in Montana, most based in Butte or Deer Lodge, and our marketing team/partners Outlaw Partners are based in Big Sky Montana; Outlaw Partners – Big Sky and Bozeman, MT | Marketing, Video, Media, Events
- The Montana Story - One of our goals was to help share a little of the history of Montana with each product sold, so the names of each product reflect local history and each package tells a short story. For example: LAST CHANCE GULCH MINER’S COOKIE - Helena, Montana’s Main Street has always been known as 'Last Chance Gulch' as the thoroughfare was built around the actual gulch in which gold was discovered in 1864…more of the story at Our Snacks – Yellowstone Foods LLC (ysfoods.com)
It's still early stages but I hope this gives folks a bit of a flavor of what Yellowstone Foods is all about. The team and I would appreciate any support and feedback, let us know what you think. For a bit of local flavor on the company you can read more at
As always wishing everyone the best,