Tucked away in a beautiful rural corner of Ottobine in Rockingham County, is a busy little butcher shop and now beef farm:
Redbanks Custom Cuts (RCC) & Redbanks Beef Farm (RBF)
Interview with Russel Wenger and Paul Zimmerman
Location & Contact Info: 10615 Nature Trail Dr., Dayton, VA 22821 RCC – (540) 879-9324 RBF – (540) 487-8142
Owners: RCC – Paul and Fay Lynn Zimmerman RBF – Russel and Amanda Wenger, John David and Marilyn Wenger
Years in the business: RCC est. 2012; RBF est. 2019
A little history: Paul, father of Amanda and Marilyn and former dairy farmer, loved butcher days with the family and was drawn to the idea of custom butchering with a retail shop as a business. Upon working with Con Yeager Spice Company, Paul was able to develop his own meat products to sell. As his attention turned to building what is now a thriving butcher shop, and as the dairy market shifted drastically in recent years, the operations of the former farm lay fallow. With the next generation branching out, the new hardworking, ambitious son in-laws realized the opportunity to fill a gap in the modern-day market fraught with sketchy sourcing, middlemen, and little did they know in their first year – the subsequent 2020 supply chain struggle. Russel says, “Over covid, there was a meat shortage; John David and I started to run beef in the barns and then sell it to people that were looking for beef.” Personally, I love hearing these good news stories that 2020 has produced – for all the negative we endured, the wracked market provided an opportunity for this small business to propel forward, providing the community with a one stop shop for beef. I remember working with the Zimmermans in their charter custom butchering year when we went to fill our freezer as newlyweds. We needed to find our quarter from another location, but today, as Russel put it, they’ve “connected those dots and take care of the whole process – the cattle are born, raised, butchered, and sold at one location.” In October of this year, after a long string of red tape, Redbanks was finally able to open the farm store where folks can now come and buy their products – meat and cheeses – retail.
What they offer: Processing of beef, deer, and hogs. RBF cattle are grain finished. Since I am only just now learning the news about the beef farm side of things when I went to interview with the original butcher shop, I’m excited to try it – the reviews for the quality of meat and price points are glowing.
Most popular products: hotdogs, bologna, and snack sticks. “As of now, they are made with the beef we grew on that farm.” – Russel Wenger
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. Redbanks is never open on Sunday; please do not drop off deer for processing on this day.
Things to note: When you come to pick up your meat, you should bring boxes or coolers.
A few more thoughts: Because of personal connections, it is exciting for me to learn of these changes and to see all the progress that has occurred for the Zimmerman Wenger clan. When I asked Paul how it felt to see the business grow over the last decade and to see his dream realized, he said, “God is great, God is merciful, and it hasn’t been my accomplishment, but a unified effort of the family. We’re very excited and happy to be here, but it’s been kind of a journey. When a family pulls together and God gives His grace, we can accomplish a lot.”