Rankin’s Meat Market Fulfills a Dream

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Terry and Kim Rankin took alternate marketing tactics for their family-run business, Rankin’s Meat Market. The Rankins combined word of mouth, their website and social media to get the name out to the public in the year since it opened. 

While Terry Rankin cuts the meat, his wife runs the market’s Facebook page and creates cooking videos for YouTube.

“We actually have a friend who is in hospitality management and he really suggested that we go big if we’re going to do it,” Kim Rankin said. “Our online store started and he said, ‘If you’re gonna do videos, you might as well put them on YouTube and start there.’ So we created a YouTube personality and that is attached to our actual webpage.”

The YouTube clips and Facebook posts were vital in the first year of operation. The Rankin’s Meat Market storefront is a block off Main Street and can be difficult to get to if visitors aren’t familiar with the town.

“We try to, when they have city functions, get out and pass out business cards,” Kim Rankin said. “[We] try to make our social media presence as popular as we can by boosting and doing those type of things. Sitting back here is a major hurdle, but sitting next to Hogan’s Bakery really does help.”

Terry Rankin cashed in on nearly two decades of meat cutting experience before opening up his own shop. He spent 14 years at the Belmont Avenue Giant Eagle, working his way up from an intern. After stops at a Sparkle Market and Horst Packing, he came to his wife in 2013 with the idea of opening their own market.

It was a 10-year ambition was realized, but it wasn’t cheap. The Rankins invested $200,000 into the store for product, equipment and renovation. Rankin’s resides in the former Kimples Jewelry store. The Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce gave the business the Adaptive Reuse and Upgrade Award for the successful renovation.

“We came in and took everything out and down and started over,” Kim Rankin said.

The market is a six-person operation, with Terry and Kim Rankin as co-owners, and their daughter, Maren, and their daughter-in-law, Katie, are employees. Joining them are Tamarra Boyer, who works behind the counter, and Jason Miller, who helps with the meat.

Rankin’s teamed up with Birdfish Brewery for Oktoberfest this year. The combination led to a beer brat the Rankins say can’t stay on the shelves.

“My wife actually started that with the beer cheese soup that she made, and when we got the beer, we decided we were gonna make some beer brats with it. And it was really a hit … it sells out pretty quick as soon as we make it,” Terry Rankin said.

A smoker was installed shortly after opening, so all the jerky, sausage and hotdogs are made in house.

The smoker will be the center of attention with the holidays around the corner. Rankin’s is taking orders for smoked ham and turkey for holiday dinners.

Terry Rankin tries to work with local farms for his product. His beef and pork are packaged from farms across the country. He estimates that 20% of his inventory is locally produced, but he expects that number to improve.

“I’ve been seeing new faces, so word of mouth is getting out there,” Terry Rankin said. “Advertising, we haven’t been doing a lot of, but as far as growth, word of mouth and new faces. We just enjoy seeing everybody.”

Picutred: Kim and Terry Rankin opened Rankin’s Meat Market a year ago.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.