Svante’s Ranch Direct: Edible Austin – March 2017.
In 1838, the land that would soon be officially recognized as Central Texas was ripe, fertile and largely untouched, and the first Swedish immigrant to arrive and make his way in the pioneering country, 20-year-old Svante Magnus Swenson, did so just ten days before the battle of the Alamo.
Swenson opened one of the first general stores on Congress Avenue in Austin, the capital of the newly founded Republic of Texas, but the entrepreneurial Swede didn’t stop there. He also established a small farm east of town that he called “Govalle” (Swedish for “good grazing land”). Swensen continued to grow his interest in the area by acquiring land in Travis and Williamson Counties, as well as in North Texas, and with the help of his uncle, Svante Palm, he became instrumental in bringing thousands of other Swedes to Texas in what became known as the “Swedish Pipeline.” Christopher (Chris) Swenson, Svante Magnus’ great-great-grandson, is a direct legacy of that pipeline from Scandinavia.
Today, Chris and his wife Emily continue the family legacy with a business dedicated to grass-fed beef from the Swenson’s Ranch—part of the same land that Svante Magnus bought in Stamford, Texas more than 150 years ago. The Swensons run Svante’s Ranch Direct, a multi-tiered company that includes an award-winning food truck and a restaurant in Round Rock. They also sell their sought-after beef at a retail store in Round Rock, the Barton Creek Farmers Market and via home delivery.
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