Katy grocer Katerra Exotics sells natural, Texas-made products

Image description
KTY-2018-02-25-1
Image description
KTY-2018-02-25-2
Image description
KTY-2018-02-25-3
Patrick Bierschwale’s uniform of a black T-shirt lets customers know exactly what his downtown Katy market, Katerra Exotics, is all about: bison. The Texas-raised specialty meat is one of the grocery store’s specialties, along with produce and dairy.

Katerra’s meat comes from the Bierschwale family ranches in Katy and Leakey, Bierschwale said. The animals are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, and the vegetables, cheese and honey are supplied by nearby farms that forgo herbicides and pesticides, he said.

The family started raising bison in the mid-1990s when outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow disease,” occurred in the U.K. Patrick said his father had just inherited the family ranch from Bierschwale’s grandfather, who had kept bison as pets.

“So, the price of beef dropped and the price of bison shot up,” Bierschwale said. “So [my father] sold all the cows and bought a bunch more bison from South Dakota and brought those down.”

Patrick grew up on the ranch. Later, he managed a gym and coached while competing in mixed martial arts.

“I was always eating bison and people were always coming up to me asking, ‘Where can I get bison? I want bison,’” he said. “And so, pretty soon it kind of clicked—hey, there’s a business here.”

Bierschwale began buying his father’s bison individually and butchered them himself to sell at the gym. He eventually began taking meat to the Farmers Market on Grand Parkway, 1225 Grand Parkway, Katy.

He built a client base and expanded to more farmers markets.

“Eventually, I figured out that I could make more money and have more career longevity doing this than getting punched in the face for a living, so I retired,” Bierschwale said.

He quit MMA in 2013 and bought his father’s herd the following year. He also began raising chicken and goats, and trapping wild hogs to butcher. Bierschwale said boars must go to the processing plant alive before they can be butchered and sold.

Bison present their own challenges, he said. Fencing must be made from steel tubing, and the chutes through which bison move require metal cages to discourage jumping.

The store opened in 2016 so Bierschwale could sell year-round. Business slowed in January 2017 when the city of Katy began renovating the downtown streets, he said.

“I was very thankful that I had the farmers markets to fall back on, because that was still steady,” he said. “But then when Harvey hit, that just killed everything.”

Since the construction ended in December, Katerra has seen increased traffic, he said. The store is updating its products and Bierschwale said he was proud of his ability to raise livestock that are as “wild” as possible.

“Basically, we try to raise the happiest, healthiest animals we can,” he said. “We love these animals. People always laugh when I say they’re our pets, but we eat them because they taste good.”

Katerra Exotics


5627 Third St., Katy
281-665-2525
www.katerraexotics.com/
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m , closed Sun.


MOST RECENT

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

The study by Mason Tillman Associates will assess the utilization of minority and women-owned businesses countywide. (Community Impact Staff)
Fort Bend County to enact business disparity study

The study by Mason Tillman Associates will assess the utilization of minority and women-owned businesses countywide.

Main Chick Hot Chicken opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 23 in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Main Chick Hot Chicken)
Main Chick Hot Chicken opens in Sugar Land; Urban Bird Hot Chicken coming to Cy-Fair and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news for the Houston area, including two new chicken restaurants.

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harmony Public Schools to offer free meals to all students

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification.

Houston-area residents will be able to apply online for a one-time payment of $1,500 from July 28-Aug. 11. (File photo)
$30M COVID Relief Fund opens for Harris County residents as eviction moratorium ends

Sourced by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible residents will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 to support urgent needs.

Pride Houston Parade
Pride Houston fall parade and festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The downtown annual parade and festival, scheduled for Sept. 25, will be replaced by a Montrose block party and other events, organizers announced July 25.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Registration for TSTC's fall semester, including enrollment in the new cloud computing certificate program, is open. (Courtesy Texas State Technical College)
Texas State Technical College to offer online certificate in cloud computing

Registration for TSTC's fall semester, including enrollment in the new cloud computing certificate program, is open.

The school will be one of only 13 Texas universities accredited by the association. (Courtesy University of Houston)
UH-Victoria's psychology program receives national accreditation

The school will be one of only 13 Texas universities accredited by the association.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Average testing positivity rate nears 10% after sharp increase

Over 97% of people nationwide who are being hospitalized because of the disease are unvaccinated.

The “chicken-less chicken” concept will be the eighth Texas location opened this year. (Courtesy Project Pollo)
Project Pollo, a plant-based, fast-food restaurant, opens first Houston-area location in Katy

The “chicken-less chicken” concept will be the eighth Texas location opened this year.