Here in Goldthwaite, we are home to the top producer of premium Dorper lamb in the United States, Capra Foods. Founded in 2009, Capra Foods is a collective of more than 80 ranches in Central Texas providing certified all-natural Dorper lamb, the most premium lamb meat available, with a mild, delicate flavor profile. Find out why they chose Goldthwaite, and how they are changing how chefs and food lovers think about lamb.

Central Texas Ranching

Capra Foods is headquartered in Goldthwaite with an office that used to be an old wool barn, and is operated by long-time local agricultural pros with deep roots in Texas’ ranching and farming industries, and relies solely on family ranchers who produce the highest quality lamb. After founding the company in 2009, and after many years of outsourcing, the Capra folks decided to build their own facility. “The city of Goldthwaite helped support us in finding a site to build our business and to help create jobs for the town. The city is very business-friendly,” said Aaron Cook.

So What’s a Dorper?

Dorper is a South African breed of domestic sheep developed by crossing Dorset Horn and The Blackhead Persian Sheep in the 1930s. They were bred to create a meat sheep suitable to the more arid regions of the country. Dorpers are very adaptable and are fast-growing. They can flourish in low rainfall environments, which brings us to Central Texas. “It really is the epicenter of sheep and goat production in the United States,” said Cook. “Texas produces three times as many lambs as any other state.”

Why are Dorper Desirable?

Dorper sheep are bred for meat, not wool, so they do not produce lanolin, which gives wool lamb its gamey flavor. Dorper meat is mild, delicate, and delicious. Dorper lamb can be prepared in any way that you would prepare beef or other comparable proteins. Some like to say that Dorper is to lamb as Wagyu is to beef. It truly is a flavor like no other! Capra Foods is the only certified lamb program in the country, so when it comes to quality, chefs, restaurants, and grocers are all discovering what it means to experience the difference of high-quality lamb products from Capra Foods. In fact, Capra Foods has been a partner with Whole Foods for eight years.

A Commitment to Sustainability

Have you ever thought about soil? How it feeds plants, make things grow? Carbon plays a key role in plant health and growth, and Capra Foods is invested in Regenerative Agriculture, a system that focuses on rebuilding and enhancing the health of the soil by drawing carbon down from the atmosphere and putting it into the ground. By nourishing the health of the soil they are increasing organic matter that promotes greater biodiversity resulting in a more nutrient-dense plant life. It is said that regenerative efforts are the best means of restoring the balance of our ecosystem and combating global climate change.

Treating Animals With Respect

Capra Foods has received a Global Animal Partnership certification or G.A.P. This certification requires farms to abide by strict guidelines to ensure that all G.A.P. certified meat products are labeled and processed to the highest standards. Capra Foods lamb is 100% grass-fed, never introduced to antibiotics, hormone-free, never fed animal byproducts, and are raised humanely. In the future, Capra Foods hopes to expand to better manage all aspects of the process including raising animals on-site, distribution processes, and even packaging and marketing to better compete in larger markets.

Ready to Take the Leap?

There is no one type of customer for high-quality lamb. Customers range from values-based eaters concerned with quality and sustainability to people fond of diets originating in the Mediterranean, India, and South Asia, not to mention the traditional steak-eating Texan who is feeling a little adventurous. The interest in quality lamb cuts across a wide spectrum of the United States, with Capra Foods distributing from Florida to Hawaii, and including markets like Chicago and New York. If you are ready to see what Capra Foods lamb is all about, you can use their online shop to order a huge variety of cuts of meat, or go for the Grilling Bundle. If you are looking to make a long-term investment in your meat quality, give them a call and find out all the ways Capra Foods can help your business by introducing a new and sustainable protein product to your restaurant, grocery, or dinner table.

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