Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 86

S M A L L B U S I N E S S M AT T E R S

" There was always a big traffic back up before they
installed stop lights at the main intersection in town. We
took little bags of jerky samples, stapled a business card
to them and passed them out to the people waiting in
their cars for the road to clear. "
Dierkes went to college and got a degree in business
management, McDonald got a trade degree in HVAC.
They later became the fourth generation of the McDonald
family to work in - and eventually run - the shop.
" The original store didn't even have electricity or
refrigeration, " she said. " They had an icehouse stocked
with slabs of ice they cut from the lake. It wasn't until the
1920s that they began selling meat after electricity finally
made it to the small town. "
Dierkes, now 46, has served as production manager,
a position now held by McDonald, and later as company
manager before assuming the title of general manager.
When she and McDonald took over the business in 2005
from their dad, Steve McDonald, there were 15 employees
working in the 7,000-square-foot plant. Today there are 43
and the facility has grown to 26,000 square feet.

" I would say that we don't really
have a signature product - it's the
astounding variety in our small
shop that makes us stand out. "
- JENNIFER DIERKES

BIGGER AND BETTER
The latest expansion was completed in 2017 and all
production was moved into the new area. McDonald's
operates under USDA inspection, does custom slaughter
and processing (about 15% of their volume) as well as
wild game processing year-round (20% of volume). The
company does some wholesaling and co-packing for 10
other firms wanting to market products under their own
names (10% of volume).
It is the retail sales department that racks up 55% of
the volume, including the on-site sales area and the evergrowing internet and social media markets.
" We are also known as 'The Jerky Stop,' " she said.
" We make 23 different kinds and flavors of jerky. That
includes 13 beef versions, two pork based and five made
from turkey along with bison, elk, and venison. On our
mail order sales, we feature 25 products which we want
to expand to 100 products very soon. "
And speaking of variety, award-winning hams,
smoked whole and half turkeys, along with smoked
turkey filets and drumsticks abound in the retail shop. It's
almost a tune-up for customers to gaze into their bacon
lineup where 13 versions are there for the choosing.


http://www.ftiinc.org/columndumpers http://www.ftiinc.org http://www.ftiinc.org/columndumpers

Meat+Poultry - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - April 2021

Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - vdg - 1
Meat+Poultry - April 2021 - vdg - 2
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