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CIM Alum Starts Business After Graduation

Tim Nimtz has always been passionate about butchering, but only recently was he able to transform that passion into a successful career. His interest in meat processing began when he was young; he created hand-made sausages alongside his great-grandfather, Arnold Doberstein. Eventually, he realized the tremendous opportunity in this niche industry, as many of the butchering community's finest are of retirement age

Determined to gain the skills necessary for success in a promising industry, Nimtz enrolled at the Culinary Institute of Michigan. While there, he expanded his understanding of the culinary field by working with some of the industry's most knowledgeable professionals. He emerged with a range of valuable culinary skills, fostered through extensive hands-on training.

Upon graduation, Nimtz joined forces with good friend Willie Hannan to launch Clear Water Meats, an Eau Claire, Michigan butcher shop that emphasizes classic meat processing techniques. The company officially opened in 2015, and has since achieved an excellent reputation in and around Eau Claire.

Clear Water Meats offers meat processing services for both farm animals and wild game. Nimtz and Hannan promise customers that they can "rest assured that your meat will always be professionally vacuum-sealed and custom-labeled."

Although he strives to capture the old-world charm of the butcher shop business, Nimtz also infuses modern equipment and techniques into his business. The result is a unique blend of new and old that reflects his broad education and training. He refers to his business as a "new, modern, and clean shop." The company's motto? "Who's handling your meat?"

In recent months, Nimtz and Hannan have taken their business on the road, appearing at multiple trade shows, fundraisers, and other events. In November, 2016, Clear Water Meats hosted a DNR deer check for the deer season opener. This allowed Berrien County hunters to skip the long drive to Plainwell.

Big plans are in store for Clear Water Meats, which will release a full line of snack sticks when 2017 deer season arrives. Hannan and Nimtz are constantly looking to up the ante; their passion is greatly appreciated by their many loyal customers.

Tim Nimtz is proof that a solid culinary education and a passion for the field can take aspiring professionals a long way as they pursue their dreams. He is just one of numerous success stories from the Culinary Institute of Michigan. We wish him and his business all the best!

To learn more about how the Culinary Institute of Michigan can help you achieve your culinary goals, visit or call 855-487-7888.


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