JJ Simon and his son BA founded the Table Supply Meat Co. as a cattle carcass operation in Omaha, Nebraska
The family business began selling their cuts of meat to local supermarkets, national grocery chains, and hotel restaurants
BA’s son Lester Simon introduced the brand to the United States in a deal with Union Pacific Railroad, serving their steaks in dining cars
Meat began to be sold via mail orders by the Table Supply Meat Co.
The Table Supply Meat Co. changed their name to Omaha Steaks International
Omaha Steaks opened their first retail store in Omaha
Omaha Steaks began selling pet treats
The phrase “Official Sponsor of Tailgating” was trademarked for Omaha Steaks
Official Sponsor of Tailgating
In 2010, Omaha Steaks got the trademark for “Official Sponsor of Tailgating”, and at the same time, NFL rookie of the year, Ndamukong Suh (a University of Nebraska graduate), was named the official spokesperson. Suh started with the Detroit Lions and currently plays for the Miami Dolphins.
However, Omaha Steaks has been a family owned business since 1917. JJ Simon and his son BA, emigrated to the US in 1898 to escape Latvian antisemitism. They chose Omaha for its resemblance to their homeland. For the first 20 years in America, they worked as butchers for other people, then in 1917 founded a cattle carcass business. The first iteration of the company was called, Table Supply Meat Company, and kept that name until 1966, when they moved into their Omaha headquarters. BA’s son, Lester, is credited with introducing the country to Omaha Steaks; he made a deal with the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1940s, ensuring that Omaha Steaks were served in the dining cars. This was the forerunner of the 1952 mail order business, which sustains the company today. The first retail store, outside of Omaha, was opened in Houston; there are now 85 retail stores in 29 states.
Not Just Cows Anymore
Lest you think Omaha Steaks just serves steaks, they have branched into a number of areas that don’t include meat at all – for example, cutlery, desserts, pasta, videos, a recipe center, and cooking charts. In addition, they sell pork, seafood, BBQ, and jerky.
How it Works
Omaha Steaks and accompanying accoutrements are shipped directly to customers in refrigerated cases. Customers can order by direct mail, online, retail, and as corporate incentives to businesses. Meals can be purchased by occasion, for example, Father’s Day, anniversaries, and game days. You can order by type of meal, including 30 minute dinners, Sunday supper, and comfort food. Finally, choose your cooking method, such as grill, slow cooker and/or microwave.
Can Steaks be Ironic?
Omaha Steaks were featured on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2011 as a challenge for competitors to write, produce, and star in a live cooking demonstration featuring three of the brand’s variety packages. Celebrity Apprentice, Meat Loaf, was the guest of honor at the premiere party. “We were extremely pleased with the Omaha Steaks episode of The Celebrity Apprentice,” said Senior Vice President Todd Simon. “While each team took a completely different approach to the task, they both did an amazing job of making our brand come alive. We also were honored to host our screening event for charity and having Meat Loaf join us provided an interesting insider view that we all enjoyed.”
Meanwhile, Trump, from his first 2007 venture with Sharper Image to his QVC products in 2014, also sold “Certified Angus Beef Burgers”. His product was marketed as The Classic Collection and included two filet mignons, two bone-in rib-eyes, and 12 burgers, and priced at $199.
Did You Know?
- Omaha Steaks is the largest single user of dry ice in North America, and is the largest small parcel direct shipper of gourmet foods.
- They age, cut, trim, and ship 14 million pounds of beef every year.
- In 2004, Omaha Steaks began selling pet treats.
Omaha Steaks Fact Sheet
Check out the Simon Family Favorite
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