In the heart of Muscogee Reservation, just off Highway 75 in Okmulgee County, there is a new meat processing facility, along with a mini grocery store.
It is called Looped Square Meat Co., and since it opened Monday, about 400 people have stopped by.
"I think they've got a great variety, a good selection that I've seen here, so I'm hoping to pick up a few things today,” said Cindy Fisher, an Okmulgee resident.
Trent Kissee, the Muscogee Nation’s director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Division, gave News On 6 an exclusive tour.
"We'll have the capability to do beef and pork processing, sheep and goat as well, under USDA inspection,” explained Kissee. “So, we'll be able to do the slaughter and the processing on that. We have a separate wing in the plant for deer during deer season, so we have a lot of hunters throughout the reservation, eastern Oklahoma, all over Oklahoma."
Also here: A test kitchen, a seven truck smokehouse, and equipment to make jerky, sausages, brats and hams.
Kissee said the $15 million investment for infrastructure and equipment is from the CARES Act money.
"Sort of a silver lining in the COVID crisis, we were able to kind of get the funding, put this thing together and really set this up to be not only an economic driver but a food safety and food security for the reservation,” said Kissee.
The processing facility also has a mini grocery store, where you can buy beef straight from the tribe's ranch and fresh produce.
The tribe said its goals include providing healthy options for an area that is considered a food desert.
Becky McClellan works here and said she is also excited to use the services.
"We raise beef, so it will be a good place for us to bring our steers to get processed instead of having to go to another town to do it,” said McClellan. “It's going to be great."
For now, store hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The tribe hopes to eventually open on Saturdays.