Catherine and Rick Topel, Smoky Mountain Mangalitsa, LLC
Mobile Food Unit Trailer for Farm Use
Grant Award: $8,000
As COVID hit in 2020, Catherine was unable to sell hog carcasses to restaurants. Even after pivoting to retail sales, business remained sluggish.
In March of 2021, the Topels began welcoming campers to their farm through Hipcamp and created a new market for their pork. With their expansion into primitive camping, farm tours, and their anticipated participation in the Visit NC Farms app, they have hundreds of visitors per week and these numbers triple on holidays and during leaf season.
The Topels plan to use their grant to purchase a mobile food unit for use primarily at their farm. With continued growth, the mobile unit offers the flexibility to take it to area events. By offering farm-grown pork to their campers, the Topels are able to utilize underselling retail cuts.