Bullseye much more than a meat market

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, August 14, 2013

VANDALIA — Bullseye Marketplace, 59283 White Temple Rd., this weekend features meat fresh from the 162nd Cass County Fair, including Cameron Hayden’s grand champion steer, Jake Sully.

Owner Israel Yoder also bought the medium weight champion, some pigs and several lots in the small animal auction to support 4-H youth.

He will also be supporting the Berrien County Fair auction in Berrien Springs this week.

“We hosted the carcass class swine judging,” he said Monday. “We had 55 people here in our cooler judging all their carcass contestants for the Berrien fair.”

Bullseye, not yet a year old, opened Nov. 1, 2012, in an 80-foot by 112-foot building after buying out Rick Brubaker’s Little Store on the Prairie in Decatur. He became their manager.

Bullseye offers a large selection of deli meats and cheese, custom butchering for deer, beef and pork, frozen meats — wild-caught Norwegian salmon, local and organic chicken and pork, grain-fed beef and pork and grass-fed beef, such as the longhorn cattle which graze out front.

Fresh-cut meats, such as the fair fare, are offered Thursday through Saturday.

He took the steers to Battle Creek to get butchered at the USDA-inspected plant.

But it’s much more than a meat market, with bulk nuts, dried fruits, candy, specialty grains and foods, local and organic products, a gluten-free section, vitamins and supplements, baked goods from father-in-law Virgil Stutzman’s nearby Farmhouse Bakery, Plainwell ice cream, hand-dipped in homemade waffle cones or in half gallons, a coffee bar with whole bean coffee and kitchenware.

“I would have never done this without the bakery,” Yoder said Monday. “The two work together well” to attract drivers buzzing by on busy M-60. “This building was built originally for my construction and farming businesses. We kept hay and equipment in here. This was a wash bay for equipment. We were here for deer season in October, but the store didn’t open until Nov. 1.”

The Delaware native, who grew up on a dairy farm, toyed with opening a butcher shop in southeast Iowa, but its low population density trumped the quality of its hunting.

“We’ve got avid sportsmen here who bring their animals back,” said Yoder, who’s been in this area since 2000 with Bullseye Construction and built his house in 2004.

He and his wife, Jessica, have seven children — he’s the oldest of six — five daughters with melodic names such as Misty Dawn, Summer Breeze, Autumn Brook, Amber Sky and River Joy, plus sons Grant and Chad.

“Our chief butcher is Maynard Feitz,” he said. “He’s 74 years old and everybody knows Maynard. He’s been cutting meat since he was 21 and mentors the meat cutters. Joe Suseland cuts meat for us, too. We have a really good team, including Rick, the brains behind all the retail.”

“Vandalia’s up and coming,” Yoder said. “It’s neat to watch it change.”