Felo & Stephanie Martinez
Have you heard of healthy beef? Through a neighbor’s friendly suggestion, Felo and Stephanie Martinez, third generation owners of 2F Rancho Sante Fe, found their way to the Wagyu beef breed, specifically the Akaushi breed (pronounced ah-ka-oo-she), meaning red cow. Akaushi is highly prized for its tenderness and butter-soft flavor, but they are a feisty breed.
“They’re hard to work,” Stephanie said. “You cannot get in a corral with them or they’ll run you over. They’re intimidated by people, so we do all our work on horseback.”
Their ranch is an intriguing commingling of Old West and contemporary. Their ranch home is decorated straight out of historical lore with branding irons adorning the walls, cypress pickle-barrel wood lining the ceiling, and historic family saddles embellishing the main room. Outside, cows and calves roam the range, some sticking their heads under the backyard fence to get the grass that’s greener on the other side.
Across the enclosure is a thoroughly modern, state inspected processing plant with coolers kept below 35 degrees, holding their ready-to-sell beef for the next buyer.
Akaushi beef instinctiveness allows it to convert fat from saturated to mono-unsaturated fat meaning that its protein forms inside rather than outside. The longer the cows are fed on a corn ration, the whiter marbling is formed within the meat which gives it a delectable flavor with an ultra-tender quality.
“We opened our plant so we could stay local – selling to restaurants, households within the Valley, and local grocers,” Stephanie explained. “Our customers know our cattle have never been given hormones, antibiotics or fed animal byproducts.”
2F Akaushi Beef can be found at Bob Stark’s Beef Shop, or just give 2F Akaushi Beef a call at 956-735-6401 for delivery.
Raising and producing the highest quality healthy beef on the market is their passion and their goal.
“It’s a great life,” Stephanie said. “We love our place here. We love our animals.”
“Our ancestors came here in the late 1800s,” said Felo. “We feel very fortunate to be part of this land and its heritage. I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.”
(For more information, go to www.2fakaushibeef.com or YouTube.)