Kurzweils Country Meats

Harrisonville, Missouri

Kurzweils Country Meats

Harrisonville, Missouri

Overcoming Adversity

The Kurzweil brothers grew up helping on their family’s row crop operation south of Harrisonville, Missouri. As they dreamed of expanding the family business, in 1991, the brothers and their wives added hogs to the operation.

As hog prices dwindled, the Kurzweils shifted to value-added products and operating a meat market as options for the livestock they were raising.

In 1995, the Kurzweil brothers rented a small red barn between Harrisonville and Garden City and set out to bring their meat market dream to fruition. They renovated the building, adding freezer doors, a meat room, a smoker and stuffer and a single vacuum machine. Harvested hogs were hung on the back wall before processing them for bacon, hams and other cuts.

After Chris left the Army, he began to experiment with sausage flavors while adding some wholesale accounts. The business moved into a bigger building in 1999 to accommodate growth.

Embracing Life’s Challenges

Their best laid plans would be sidelined in 2017 when a fire leveled the Kurzweil’s facility.

“It was a great setback,” Chris said. “I felt like I had built the business to a point where we were going to have to expand, and the fire just kind of forced that upon me.”

According to Chris, the wholesale side of their business was just starting to ramp up when the fire broke out. The family had talked already about constructing a wholesale facility in the building next to their existing one.

“When the fire happened, it really changed our thought process and emotions,” Chris said.

The two years that followed would be filled with challenges for the Kurzweils as they worked to construct a new building for their business while maintaining both the wholesale and retail customers they already had.

Relationships are key, Chris says, as several colleagues offered up their facilities in order to help meet the needs of their customers. 

A Growing Partnership

Chris Kurzweil isn’t afraid of failure, nor an obstacle put in his path. 

“My definition of fail means first attempt in learning,” he said. “What we set up to do when we very first started with the new operation wasn’t what we got to do coming out of the gate, but we found a way.”

And having a partner that believed in his goals was key to making dreams come true.

FCS Financial has been great at helping us achieve our goals and in making our dreams come true,” Chris said.

From real estate to operating to equipment loans and revolving lines of credit, working with FCS Financial is key to the Kurzweil’s track record of pressing on and overcoming adversity.

According to FCS Financial’s Jay Sloniker, “When they do something, they do it right. It’s never about glory or can we get rich doing this. It’s got to work financially. It’s always about doing it right, and that makes a difference.”

For Chris, having a plan and focusing on the right way to operate his business has been key to not only managing growth but also to clearing the hurdles placed in his path along the way.

This article was first published in FCS Financial’s HeartBeat Magazine.