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Shake Shack’s Mall of America location features Olivia beef

OLIVIA -- Shake Shack might have originated in New York City but its new Mall of America location in Bloomington has a definite Minnesota taste. The Angus beef used in the popular burger and shake joint comes directly from Revier Cattle in Olivia.

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Revier Cattle of Olivia is providing the Angus beef for the burgers at the Mall of America location of Shake Shack. This is the popular restaurant's first Minnesota site. (Submitted/ Nick Fay, Shake Shack)

OLIVIA -- Shake Shack might have originated in New York City but its new Mall of America location in Bloomington has a definite Minnesota taste. The Angus beef used in the popular burger and shake joint comes directly from Revier Cattle in Olivia.

“They’re a perfect fit for what we wanted to do,” said Jeffrey Amoscato, vice president of supply chain and innovation at Shake Shack.

Revier Cattle raises prime/choice graded Angus cattle and does so while being conscious of sustainability and land management.

“I was really blown away and impressed by the operation,” Amoscato said.

Amoscato said Shake Shack became aware of Revier Cattle from their meat grinder partner Swanson Meat. When Amoscato traveled to Minnesota he took a ride out to Revier Cattle to see the operation first hand.

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As someone from the city, Amoscato enjoyed his drive through farm country.

“You could really tell you had such fertile soil,” Amoscato said.

Revier Cattle Company uses the fertile soil of Renville County for growing crops, some of which is used in the feed given to its cattle. Other products used in the cattle feed are sourced from local producers, cutting back on long distance delivery, fuel consumption and the company’s carbon footprint. From 2011 to 2012 Revier Cattle Company saw a 12 percent reduction in the use of diesel fuel, said the company website.

Revier Cattle also practices crop rotation, growing a variety of crops to keep the soil healthy, according to the company’s website. Revier Cattle Company did not return Tribune messages seeking comment for this story.

“The whole cycle is a perfect cycle,” Amoscato said.

The Revier family came to Renville County in 1867, according to Revier Cattle’s website, and has been raising beef for decades. Brothers Tom Revier and Dave Revier now lead the family-owned business.

In 2011 Revier Cattle expanded its livestock operation in Olivia from 4,500 head to 10,500.  

The company uses anaerobic digester technology to collect and treat the animal waste. According to the Revier Cattle Company’s website, the company reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 73 percent from 2011 to 2012 by using the technology.

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Shake Shack has very specific criteria for the products it uses. The beef can never have antibiotics or hormones used in the production and must be Angus. Revier’s operation not only met those specifications but also followed other Shake Shack principles.

“Working with the community and keeping the process as local as possible,” Amoscato said.

Shake Shack’s first permanent location was opened in 2004 in Madison Square Park in New York City, after the founding members ran a hot dog cart in the same park for three summers. Since then the restaurant has expanded into a chain with locations across the world. Throughout its expansion Amoscato said it was important Shake Shack didn’t lose what made the first one so popular, including using as many local ingredients as possible.

“We’re always looking for something better. So we can offer our guests the best product,” Amoscato said.

As its name implies, Shake Shack is also known for its shakes and frozen custard. The Mall of America location even has flavors created just for the Minnesota market, including a frozen custard dessert called the Malt of America which has peanut butter sauce, marshmallow sauce, crumbled sugar cone cookies and malt powder. Five percent of sales of the Malt of America goes to Open Arms of Minnesota, which provides nutritious meals for people living in the Twin Cities who have life-threatening illnesses.

In addition to the food, Shake Shack also sells wine and beer, including some local craft brews like Summit Brewing Company, Brau Brothers and Lift Bridge Brewing Company.

“We’re always keeping an eye out,” for other local food opportunities, Amoscato said.

Shake Shack began its midwest expansion in Chicago and decided the Mall of America was the perfect place for its first location in the North Star State.

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“We’re really excited to be out there,” Amoscato said.

Related Topics: OLIVIA
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