By KELLY STILES | The Arkadelphian
The historic farming family, the Huneycutts, will soon provide another service to Clark County. Ouachita Valley Meats, owned by Luke Huneycutt, Luke’s brother-in-law Jeffrey Liggin, and Luke’s father Ted Huneycutt is set to open by the end of February. Luke and Jeffrey will be running day-to-day operations.
“There’s just something about working with family,” Jeffrey said. “To be with people who have your back, who are there to help you.”
The Huneycutt family has been farming in Clark County since 1882 and were named 2022 Arkansas Family of the Year. They grow wheat, corn, cotton, hay, soybeans and raise cattle on 4,000 acres. Much of their farmland can be found along the Ouachita river valley, creating inspiration for the new meat market’s namesake.
“Everything that we have here is going to be fresh, quality, hand-cut, good meat,” Luke said. “We are going to lay hands on everything that goes through the store.”
All Ouachita Valley meat products will be processed in-house. Just about any butcher meat you can think of will be provided, including ground beef, cured hams, chicken, brats, hot dogs, summer sausage, sliced and cured bacon, and more. A section of the butcher shop will be dedicated to selling beef directly from Clark County farmers. Most of these products will be smoked, even a variety of cheeses.
The storefront will also sell fresh appetizers and some frozen seafood, as well as dishes and casseroles that families can pop in the oven for an easy meal. A plethora of Arkansas-sourced grilling products, such as spices, rubs, sauces, and even grills and charcoal will fill store shelves. Ouachita Valley will also have a drive-thru option so that people can call in orders and pick them up without having to get out of their car.
“We want to be your grilling headquarters,” Jeffrey said. “You don’t have to go anywhere else if you decide you want to grill.”
Luke and Jeffrey started the process of opening Ouachita Valley Meats in 2020. They have spent a lot of time traveling to successful meat markets to find a “sweet spot” of “quality service” to emulate. Construction of the store and meat processing building at 2859 Walnut Street in Arkadelphia began in 2021, and COVID substantially delayed construction, as materials would take a long time to arrive.
“The feedback from the community has been great,” Luke said. “They are excited, and we are excited , too.”
Proper meat production often takes many hours, sometimes days. For instance, taking a pork belly and turning it into bacon is a 36- to 48-hour process consisting of brining, tumbling, smoking, and slicing the meat.
“To do it right, it takes some time,” Luke said. “But we’re gonna do it right, and it’s gonna taste unbelievable.”
Luke grew up in Arkadelphia and has always been involved in Huneycutt family farming. He is married to Alexis Huneycutt, and they have one child on the way.
“Every single product we’ll sell is something we back, and our families eat,” Luke said.
Jeffrey is originally from Horatio, Ark. He coached and taught school in north Arkansas until he and his wife Sarah Liggin decided to move to Clark County to be close to family, and to start his meat-processing venture with Luke. Jeffrey and Sarah have four kids, ages 5 months, 2, 3, and 16.
“We are here to provide quality service, quality products, and to develop a relationship with our customers,” Jeffrey said.
Ouachita Valley Meats will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.