At The Rail, we are committed to providing the best-tasting, freshest food to our customers, and for us, that starts with locally sourced ingredients, which is why we’re proud to work with the E.R. Boliantz Co. Supplied by family farms throughout Ohio, E.R. Boliantz Co. set guidelines to serve the “best beef possible,” which this is not just a slogan for them, but the guiding principle behind everything they do.
This family business got its start in the meat industry with Jeff and Margret Boliantz’s small Mansfield butcher shop and grocery store in 1929, and the tradition continued when their son Emil opened Boliantz Packing in the mid-1940’s. Emil’s son, Bob Boliantz, worked alongside him for more than 15 years before taking over the business, and he keeps his family’s roots and values alive every day by maintaining both the product quality standards and the close-knit farmer and vendor relationships. The Boliantz family knows that working with local farms and buying local products not only means they are getting the freshest, most wholesome foods for their dinner table, but also supporting their friends and neighbors while doing so.
Our team had the pleasure of touring the Boliantz packing facility, as well as visiting farms they work with, and we had the chance to talk to Bob Boliantz and his daughter Jess, hearing firsthand why “local” means so much to them.
Although the Boliantz family doesn’t own a functioning farm, they have raised steers, hogs and horses, and know all the responsibilities that come with running a farm. Growing up as the daughter of a small business owner, Jess recalls her dad holding very long hours and taking few family vacations, but that knowing how much customers appreciate his commitment to a better product makes all that hard work worth the sacrifice. While E.R. Boliantz Co. continues to grow, Bob maintains a close relationship with every farming family they work with and stands by keeping all his contacts in a classic black book, the same way his father did business.
The family knows that beyond providing a superior product to consumers, sourcing locally also helps our local economy by supporting Ohio’s farmers. Jess says, “We believe that sourcing locally is superior because harvesting local cattle means the beef reaches the market sooner and, therefore, fresher. Local sourcing also supports our great state’s historical heritage of agriculture and helps to ensure a better community for the future of Ohio.” Each member of the Boliantz family plays a key role in keeping these sentiments alive, and they continue to make sacrifices for the good of the company and community.
The Boliantz family is so dedicated to the quality of the beef they source that cattle are individually inspected and hand-selected. These cattle are raised on a very specific diet that allows for the desired levels of marbling and tenderness in the beef, and by working closely with the farmers, the Boliantzes can ensure the animals are raised healthily – a world of difference from feedlots sourcing massive quantities of beef to many chain restaurants. Lastly, this beef is dry chilled right in the plant, using more labor-intensive, “old-school” techniques, but resulting in perfectly aged, flavorful cuts. E.R. Boliantz Co. does everything possible to provide the best quality of beef to the people of Ohio, and when asked why they’re proud to be Ohioans, Jess says, “Ohio is a place that knows the importance of family, friends and farming.”
Since the Boliantz family supplies The Rail with some of the best locally sourced beef around, why not let them build the perfect burger? When asked if they could build the perfect Rail Burger, they said they would keep it simple and delicious, topped with Blue Cheese, Pepper Bacon and Frizzled Onions. Who knows, maybe you’ll see this as a Weekend Special one day!
Our visit to the plant and farms gave our team new insight into the work that goes into bringing us our fresh, quality beef and a newfound appreciation for all the people supporting our local community every day. Because we’re known for our all-Ohio burgers and our mission is to serve the highest-quality beef around, we’re so proud to highlight local farms with the same values and standards we hold near and dear, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the process of the beef coming to our restaurants and eventually being served to you… and on Cow Appreciation Day, no less! (Yes, that's a real holiday!)