Small Business Spotlight: How Little Creek Scaled to Deliver Premium Grass-fed Lamb and Beef Nationwide
Family-owned and operated by Caroline Nelson and her partner Justin, Montana-based Little Creek specializes in perishable and non-perishable goods, and works with a core mission to build healthy soil, store carbon, and rebuild grassland.
We recently spoke with the founders about their desire to leave a positive impact, how they scaled their business to sell across the country, and what advice they have for other growing e-commerce businesses.
A Direct-to-consumer Business Built on Passion and Grown with Care
Caroline and Justin are passionate about the practice of whole animal butchery, and firmly believe in sourcing locally and working with women-makers. Initially raising grass-fed lamb, Little Creek has since added dry aged, ranch-raised beef, and non-perishables such as seasonings, candles, and rugs.
As the business grew, Caroline and Justin sought solutions to help them scale nation-wide and connect with customers who believe in the regenerative agricultural work Little Creek is doing where in the US they are. After stumbling across Shippo in January 2020, Caroline immediately gravitated towards the platform because it provided discounted rates from both USPS and UPS, and seamlessly integrated with their e-commerce platform to streamline the end-to-end shipping process.
“The interface is great,” said Caroline about why she chose Shippo to handle Little Creek’s e-commerce shipping needs. “It’s easy to use, and easy to teach other people how to use. Everything was truly so seamless.”
Delivering a Delightful Customer Experience
Caroline and Justin understand that when customers order from Little Creek, they’re taking a huge leap getting their meat delivered across the country. It’s critical that the Little Creek team ship products within a specific time frame to ensure the meat doesn’t completely thaw before getting to the end customer, and Shippo helps them do just that with ease. “Being able to break orders into separate shipments, since some people order perishables and non-perishables together in the same order, makes packing so much easier.”
To show their customers how much they appreciate their business, the team takes care to deliver a consistent and thoughtful experience to customers across every touchpoint: “As a farm-to-table meat business that ships nationwide, we strive to offer the same level of customer service online that we would if we were speaking to our customers face to face at a farmer’s market.”
With Shippo, the Little Creek team can count on delivering that consistency throughout the fulfillment process: “I have spent zero percent of my energy worrying about Shippo working as it should,” said Caroline about the partnership. “[It] allows me to worry about everything else – not shipping. Working with Shippo has helped facilitate our growth.”
Harnessing the Power of Community-building
As they’ve grown their reach across the US, Little Creek has seen the impact of building a customer base that’s as passionate about their mission as they are. “Several product launches and events have sold out within hours of launch, and I’ve learned to really trust in the power of our online community and keep showing up there with authenticity and transparency,” said Caroline. “It’s allowed us to grow a wonderfully engaged community all around the country.”
Further leaning into the power of community building and customer love, the Little Creek team offered the following advice for fellow e-commerce founders: “Begin right where you are, with what you have, and bring your audience along for the ride of launching a business.”
Be sure to read the full Little Creek customer story to learn more about how Caroline and Justin use Shippo to deliver their products – and an excellent fulfillment experience to customers – nation-wide.