C&K MEATS - FORSYTH, MT
INTRODUCING OUR 2018 CONVENTION HOSTS...
C&K MEATS OF FORSYTH, MONTANA
Long before owning C&K, Curt built his first smokehouse out of an old refrigerator designed by his imagination. During those refrigerator-smokehouse years, Curt was working on his family ranch and often brought his beef to the Modern Locker to be processed (that same building that is now known as C&K.) Not long after, Curt’s refrigerator smokehouse hobby became a business.
In 1996, his dream became a reality when Curt, his wife, Karla, and family moved back to Forsyth, Montana and purchased the abandoned and vacant building located at 1109 Front Street. Getting the building prepped for business was quite the process. After a year of construction, remodeling and purchasing equipment, the doors of C&K Meats were finally opened.
The business doors swung open for the first time in February of 1998. At that time, C&K had a fresh retail counter and began custom processing. Thankfully, C&K had some guidance during start up. Jim Wilson, former member of MMPA and owner of Modern Locker, was there to share the wisdom that he had gained throughout his 20+ years of cutting.
Throughout their ownership, Curt and Karla have created a business full of pride and integrity. They strive to create meaningful and unique relationships with each customer. It is not unusual for Karla to greet customers with a salt gun and demonstrate what a great shot she is by destroying flies. Anyone that has ever met Curt knows how he is, between his outfits of basketball shorts, rubber boots and his awful dance moves, our customers always leave C&K laughing.
17 years later, Curt and Karla’s son Tanner had a conversation with his girlfriend (at the time), now his wife, Stephanie, about moving back home to Forsyth upon graduation and taking over his parent’s mom and pop shop.
Curt and Karla offered Tanner and Stephanie summer jobs at C&K between their junior and senior years of college to see if they would be interested in making the business their career. As the months flew by, Tanner and Stephanie realized that Curt and Karla’s hard work had created something special and they were blessed to have the opportunity of carrying on their success.
Now, C&K has added two more Gambills to the crew, and although Curt and Karla refuse to “take a break” and enjoy some time off; Tanner and Stephanie are doing all that they can to slow them down and guide them toward retirement.
In June of 2016, the Gambill family swung some sledgehammers and knocked down what used to be their old “spice room.” The Gambill family was hard at work trying to get the addition completed before the cold hit. Everyone added something special to the addition. Tanner did a beautiful job pouring concrete countertops. Curt added the hand stained dark barn wood while Karla and Stephanie had a kick picking out the different colors of tin which would be displayed throughout. Stephanie created a large wooden American Flag that hangs on the back wall of our addition and catches customer’s eyes the second they walk through the front door.
After five months of longs days, they were finally able to open the doors to their new retail store. The new retail store welcomes customers and features C&K’s products including a cooler full of smokehouse items. To the right of the coolers, all of C&K’s retail items are featured in a freezer behind glass doors. C&K’s retail store also carries a variety of specialty items, including Montana Made hot sauce, jellies, honeys, chocolates, caramels and seasonings, which help create special holiday baskets.
The goal of the retail addition was to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Prior to the retail store, customers would have to come in and verbally order what they would like and one of C&K’s employees would go in the freezer and bring out their order. The new glass doors allow customers to see all the options C&K has to offer.
Although C&K has made some definite improvements to their business recently, they are not finished yet. Tanner and Stephanie always have something up their sleeves and are always brainstorming new ways to maximize C&K’s potential.
The Gambill Family
Welcomes you to the
2018 Montana Meat Processors
Associations 31st annual Convention April 26—28 in Forsyth, Montana.