New storefront showcases corn-fed Nebraska beef

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The McLean family has been raising cattle for years, and shipping it around the country. Now a new venture involves a retail store in York.

We recently caught up with Max and Jeanette McLean to talk about the store. The McLean family has been in agriculture for decades. “It all started way back in 1949,” Max said. “That’s when my grandpa started the farm. My dad later took over the farm. We just continued to grow and expand.” The family has two feed yards north of York.

“We had many of our friends ask where they could get good meat,” Max said. “We talked about it, and decided to sell them a half of beef or a quarter. Now, we’ve been selling for about 20 years. In that time period, we created a website. We are now shipping to 48 states. We’ve always had in the back of our mind to have a retail store. So, we hired a contractor, which is Ayars & Ayars out of Lincoln, built it, and now here we are.”

One of the reasons McLean Beef is unique is the beef is dry-aged and hand cut. “We bring the animals from our farm, which is just 15 miles away from York,” Jeanette said. “We have holding pens in the building, the animals are harvested here, and we have a dry-aging cooler. That sets us apart. We age the whole carcass for two to three weeks, and that gives the meat good quality, taste and tenderness. We are USDA inspected, and there is an inspector here on site. From the cooler, we break down the meat into the burgers, steaks and roasts that we display to customers. In addition, we have a commercial kitchen and a dining room. We want to have culinary classes. We want to teach people how to prepare the meat cuts we offer. The hope is to offer educational opportunities and tours.”

A fun feature of the new retail store is you don’t have to get to the store before five to get fresh meat cuts. You can show up any time of the day or night, thanks to a vending machine concept in the foyer of the building that stays open 24 hours a day. “This building was designed in a way where we could lock up the main dining and shopping area after 5 p.m., but keep access to the vending machines open,” Jeanette said. “Just come to the foyer area and use a debit or credit card to select your meat options. It’s really easy to operate.”

Jeanette says the McLean family is all about advocating for agriculture. “We hope to bring satisfaction to our customers in that we know how our animals are raised, processed, and packaged.”

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