Knapp Sunrise Meats


Many entrepreneurs have all the makings of success right in front of them – the “meat” of a new enterprise, if you will. But even with a knowledge of the basics, actually getting started down the road to a thriving business involves a lot of detailed work. Fortunately for new business starters, the Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan University (SBDC) is ready and willing to help.


When Brandon and Ashley Knapp from Chenoa would provide pork at gatherings of friends and extended family or gift cuts of pork at Christmas, they were often asked if they had considered selling their family's pork, including Knapp Breakfast Sausage. Prompted by continuing inquiries, they decided to establish Knapp Sunrise Meats in the summer of 2018.


But where to start? Ashley says, “We knew the basic needs: a website; a presence on social media; we had to determine our product costs. We saw a flyer at a local bank promoting the SBDC. We attended a workshop and were given the elements to develop a business plan, a marketing plan, and access to free help we previously did not know existed. We met separately with SBDC and have found them to be a wonderful resource.”


Now Knapp Sunrise Meats provides their locally raised, freshly frozen pork to communities surrounding Livingston and McLean counties, processed locally, and delivered directly to the customer’s home. “Our desire is for families to gather in their homes and with their friends, around the family table and enjoy a meal which nourishes not only the body but also the spirit,” Ashley says. “Faith and family are of the utmost importance to us.”


In the future, Brandon and Ashley hope to support local food pantries with donations of excess pork. They may also make pork available for worthwhile community fundraisers.


The company website is ​www.knappsunrisemeats.com.​


Need some assistance getting your business idea off the ground? Give us a call at SBDC and set-up an appointment.

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economc Opportunity
City of Bloomington, IL
Town of Normal, IL

Our SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Wesleyan University, the City of Bloomington, and the Town of Normal.