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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Ashley and Adam Comeau, Brant’s Market 

Jan. 19, 2022

By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University

A century of sausage-making. That sounds like a lot of work, and a lot of tasty food. Today we’ll learn the remarkable story of a family-owned meat business that had its beginnings 100 years ago. Now, another young family is taking the business to the next level.

Man and women standing near meat counterAdam and Ashley Comeau are the owners of Brant’s Market in Lucas and Plainville. Ashley grew up at the nearby rural community of Zurich, population 99 people. She went to Fort Hays State and then earned her law degree at Washburn Law School.

Adam is the son of Plainville entrepreneur Chuck Comeau who we have previously profiled. Adam graduated from the University of Kansas and earned an associate’s degree in paramedicine at Barton County Community College. He met and married Ashley. They moved back to Plainville where Adam works for Ellis County EMS and Ashley is a practicing attorney.

In 2018, they heard disturbing news: Brant’s Market in Lucas was going to close. This meat market had a rich history.

In 1922, James and Marie Brant purchased the meat shop in Lucas and renamed it Brant’s Meat Market. It was a full-service butcher shop that became especially famous for James’s recipes from Czechoslovakia, such as jaternice, ring bologna, and sausage.

James’ sons George and Frank learned these recipes and continued the family business. George’s son Doug became the third generation in the business, later assisted by daughter Stephanie.

By 2018, the required paperwork and regulations had grown to the point that Doug wanted to retire. He never listed the store for sale but announced that it would close.

“We had gone to Brant’s many times,” Ashley said. They loved the products and hated to see the community lose such a long-standing business. They reached out to Doug and eventually purchased the business.

“The Brants really care for the community and they didn’t want the business to leave town,” Adam said. Doug passed along the old family recipes and helped Ashley and Adam get started.

Brant’s Market is located in Lucas, the grassroots art capitol of Kansas. “People came to Lucas to see the Garden of Eden or the Grassroots Art Center, but they came back to go to Brant’s,” Adam said.

In fact, the sausage and bologna sold out every week in Lucas, so the Comeaus saw the opportunity to expand. In late 2018, they bought a building in downtown Plainville to serve as a production facility and second retail store.

After a year of renovation, they opened the second store in February 2020 – just in time for the pandemic. The Comeaus pivoted to online and curbside service. They re-opened the store as conditions allowed. When the pandemic caused reduced product in larger stores, local people had reason to go to local outlets such as Brant’s.

“We bring in whole loins from federally inspected plants,” Ashley said. Adam has learned the process of handcrafting the finished product from there.

The classic sausage and other ethnic recipes made by the Brant family continue to be a hit. Ashley and Adam have also enhanced their online presence, which has had a significant impact.

Today, Brant’s Market has had its products go coast-to-coast and beyond. Brant’s was named by the Kansas Department of Commerce as a merit award winner in 2019 and was selected by the Kansas Sampler Foundation as one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas Commerce.

“Rooks County Economic Development and Russell County Economic Development have been great to work with,” Ashley said. “Also, a shout-out to NetWork Kansas which supported us with an E-community loan.”

“It’s definitely hard work, but there’s a lot of opportunities in rural Kansas,” Ashley said. “If a business has been around for nearly 100 years, it deserves to stay open.”

For more information, go to www.brantsmarket.com.

A century of sausage-making. That’s a remarkable achievement, and it’s wonderful to see a young couple carry on this tradition. We commend Ashley and Adam Comeau for making a difference with their entrepreneurship and commitment. They are beginning the next century of sausage – and of service.


Audio and text files of Kansas Profiles are available at http://www.kansasprofile.com. For more information about the Huck Boyd Institute, interested persons can visit http://www.huckboydinstitute.org.


The mission of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is to enhance rural development by helping rural people help themselves. The Kansas Profile radio series and columns are produced with assistance from the K-State Research and Extension Department of Communications News Media Services unit. A photo of Ron Wilson is available at  http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/news/sty/RonWilson.htm.  Audio and text files of Kansas Profiles are available at http://www.kansasprofile.com. For more information about the Huck Boyd Institute, interested persons can visit http://www.huckboydinstitute.org.

At a glance

Ashley and Adam Comeau enjoyed visiting Brant’s Market in Lucas for its authentic German sausage and bologna. When the market’s owners decided to close the business, Ashley and Adam purchased and expanded it, shipping products across the nation.


Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development

Written by

Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson | Download this photo


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