Blue Ridge Meats of Front Royal was the dream of Doug Aylestock.
Doug lives on a sheep farm in Berryville, with his wife Lois, their two sons, and Doug’s father, Harold. Doug was raised in Loudoun County, VA, where he was surrounded by dairy farms, corner stores, hunting, fishing and relishing in country life.
For years Doug hunted and processed his own game; he learned his trade by working at Tysons Locker Plant in Tysons Corner and Gadell’s Gourmet Meats in Chantilly. He was taught by the masters of the old school style of breaking and cutting meat straight off the hoof. Doug began processing the wild game of his hunting buddies and their friends so it wasn’t long before word traveled and his business blossomed.
In 1992 Doug brought his future wife Lois into the business and with her management and marketing experience they decided to take it mainstream. Several years later, Blue Ridge Meats, Inc. in Sterling, VA, was processing an excess of 1500 deer per year.
Hunters for the Hungry created a charitable outlet for the needs of others by supplying good nutritious food for those less fortunate, and BRM’s customers made every year a record year, a service we continue in Front Royal, today.
Doug offered his culinary skills with such items as jerky, summer sausage, and many varieties of sausage products to his customers. Soon the farmers came and the requests began to pour in. The opportunity to expand his dream to a USDA facility to process beef, lamb and pork (and a much needed service for area farmers) launched in 2006, when he and Lois bought the old Guard Hill Meats facility. With the addition of state-of-the-art coolers, freezers and machinery, Doug and his crew were ready to go.
Tommy Albright, General Manager, practically grew up at Blue Ridge Meats. His grandfather built the original Guard Hill Meats in the early 1960’s, and Tommy has worked at the plant on and off his entire life. He manages the slaughter team where he maintains the strict practices that are required by FSIS and USDA. He is also an accomplished meat cutter. Tommy has been supportive and a great asset to Blue Ridge Meats. Tommy and his wife, Tena, live in Stephens City with their three boys.
Lois Aylestock, Vice President, combined her passion for safe, local food and her experience in business management and marketing to help make Blue Ridge Meats a success. Lois handles the harvesting schedule, customer service, sales & marketing and day-to-day back office operations. She also farms lamb on her property in Berryville, Two Spruce Farm. Lois often speaks on the topics of buying local, the importance of safe food and why local butchers/slaughterhouses need the support of the community. Lois lives in Berryville with her husband, Doug, and two sons.