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This sketch of Harter House butchers, which hangs in all stores, was created in 1977 by Joe Bauer, who now works on special effects for motion pictures. Harter House has adopted technology over the years to market its popular meat products.
This sketch of Harter House butchers, which hangs in all stores, was created in 1977 by Joe Bauer, who now works on special effects for motion pictures. Harter House has adopted technology over the years to market its popular meat products.

Harter House begins online meat sales

Posted online
A 37-year-old locally owned company known for its meat products is now offering online ordering and delivery services.

Springfield-based Harter House/Eastgate Inc. on Dec. 14 launched which is dedicated to its popular meat counter.

“We wanted to capitalize on the name,” said Randy Richards, co-owner of the Eastgate store, adding that he had been planning the online ordering and delivery service for about five years.

Harter House Supermarkets was founded by Jerry and Barbara Bettlach in 1973 in Springfield, and today operates six stores in the Springfield area.

Two sites, and, also offer online ordering and food delivery services to area residents.

Eric Hull, meat manager at the 1625 S. Eastgate Ave. Harter House, said people calling into the store and walk-in customers had expressed interest in the new service.

“We have had a ton of questions about the orders,” Hull said on Dec. 22. “We’ve had about $3,000 in orders, and I thought that was pretty good considering we’re not promoting the site yet.”

Richards said he knew his store could compete with the products companies such as Omaha Steaks and Kansas City Steak Co. were offering online.

A variety of meats are available for shipping, including beef roasts, chicken, pork and seafood. Prices range from $8.99 for a Wagyu Beef Brisket to more than $200 for a variety pack, Richards said, noting that shipping prices vary depending on the size, number and weight of the products ordered.

The product lineup also includes signature Harter House meats such as the 40-ounce tri-tip roast, dry-aged beef, Kobe beef brisket and special-recipe Italian sausage.

Janet Keithley, a former Springfieldian now living in Jefferson City, placed an order to be shipped to her daughter as a Christmas gift. Keithley said she shopped at Harter House when she lived in Springfield, and her daughter and son-in-law were avid grillers.

“I found (Harter House’s) number on the Web site, and I called them up to place the order,” Keithley said. “A lot of places are doing that now.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, food and beverage stores recorded $1.02 billion in e-commerce sales in 2007, the most current data available. This was up from $836 million in 2006, and up from $491 million in 2005.

Springfield-based Price Cutter Supermarkets has offered online shopping for more than two years, according to Rob Marsh, director of planning and development.

Larry Hayward, executive vice president for Price Cutter, said its South National location takes Web orders for groceries and deliveries to residents of Springfield, Ozark, Nixa, Republic and Rogersville. Customers can place orders online, and an attendant at that store will do the shopping. Customers are charged $5 if they pick up their order at the store or $10 for grocery delivery.

“Most people live in dual-income houses where everyone is working and time-starved,” Hayward said. “If you can sit at your desk and order your groceries and have them delivered, it can add an hour to your day.”

He said online shopping sales have been climbing for Price Cutter, but did not provide specific revenue figures by press time.

Richards said delivery orders that come into Harter House are sealed and shipped with dry ice to ensure freshness. Customers within a couple hundred miles of Springfield can have orders shipped by ground. Orders outside ground shipping range are sent by one- or two-day air freight.

He said all orders are to be received within three days.

Harter House enlisted Springfield-based Lime Agency LLC five months ago to develop the site.

According to Lime Agency President and CEO Jeremy Adams, a former director of the defunct One80One agency, the firm used its own software to establish secure credit-card processing. The funds go directly into an Arvest Bank account, which is held by Harter House-Eastgate.

Richards said it cost him less than $25,000 to set up the e-commerce site and shipping equipment.

Adams said the site was provided at a discounted rate, a figure he and Richards declined to specify, in an effort to secure new business for the firm. He said the site should be valued at more than $45,000.

In the first week of the Web site’s operation, Richards said he had filled nearly 25 orders to places as far away as California, Texas and Florida. He said he planned on promoting the site with the help of the Lime Agency beginning in January.[[In-content Ad]]


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