Monday, March 6, 2017

The History of the Foley Meat Locker

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If you have ever visited Grand Champion Meats in Foley or Crosslake, you might not realize that the beginnings of the company were really quite humble. We weren’t always coming up with creative products like raspberry chipotle chicken breast or gummy bear bratwurst. Actually, when we began, we were rather small.

image1 (1).JPGJerry and Linda Gall purchased Foley Locker Inc. from Bud Hansen in February of 1971. At that time, Foley Meat Locker was a custom processing operation that included beef, hogs, and wild game and locker storage rental space. Bud Hansen, battling cancer at the time, was looking to pass the business to someone young who would continue the business. Jerry was just 23 years old at the time.
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Jerry and Jack in 2011

Back in the locker’s first days, there was one other full-time employee besides Jerry and Linda – a meat wrapper who worked for the previous owners. Part-time employees were called in when they were needed, but most of the time, it was just those three.

In 1975, a man named Jack Abfalter approached Jerry asking for a job. Jack had been working for Robel Meat Packing in St. Cloud until they went on strike. Jack was still working at the Foley Locker when Jerry celebrated his 40th anniversary in 2011.

Over time, the business began to expand. Jerry and Linda began processing sausage and added a small meat case for retail products. Locker rental space was pushed out as the business grew.

The Locker became a member of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) and which provided some valuable learning experiences in the meat industry.
They also joined the Minnesota Association of Meat Processors (MAMP) and the yearly convention became an annual trip for Jerry, Linda, and their three daughters. “They grew up in the industry, so they enjoyed visiting the vendor booths and getting pool time and pizza on the side,”  says Linda.

Their youngest daughter, Kelly, joined the family business full-time after completing an associate's degree at St. Cloud State University in 1997. Kelly became a co-owner alongside her father in 2001. In a 2012 article in the local newspaper, Kelly admitted that the gummy bear brats were her favorite because “the gummies’ separate flavors give each bite something different.” Her creative ideas and knowledge helped expand the business even further - eventually adding the second retail store in Crosslake, Minnesota in 2013.

From a small 8-foot retail cooler, Foley Meat Locker – now doing business as: Grand Champion Meats – has come a long way.  Today, Grand Champion Meats is still family owned and operated.  The two locations have a total of 22 employees. Grand Champion Meats continues to offer custom beef, pork and wild game processing. You will find the freshest cuts of beef and pork, as well as a wide variety of sausages, smoked products, chicken, and seafood. Even gummy bear brats.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Four New Recipes for your Football Viewing Party

Throw on your team colors and toss some cold ones in the fridge because the biggest game in football is just around the corner! Are you ready to wow your party guests with an array of meal and appetizer options? Take a look at some of our favorite new tailgating recipes at Grand Champion Meats.

Southwest Steak Nachos
With all of its cheesy, savory, and spicy goodness, nachos are a sure crowd-pleaser. Our beef skirt and flank steak cuts will slice nicely into thin strips and fit perfectly on each chip. This Southwest Steak N’ Ranch Nachos recipe will score a touchdown for you at each and every football viewing party. These nachos will be gone in less than the 30 minutes it takes to make them.
The Best Chili on Earth
Spicy chili on a football Sunday is about as All-American as you can get. Rethink your old recipes by using the best quality fresh ground beef found at Grand Champion Meats in this Best Chili on Earth recipe. Customize your chili with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeno slices, green onions, or tortilla strips. You can switch this recipe from the stovetop to a slow cooker to maximize time spent on your Super Bowl party menu.
Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken Wraps
shutterstock_184076318.jpgFor a truly inspired play, make these Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken Wraps. Our boneless skinless chicken breasts will make your time in the kitchen shorter and sweeter, while our very popular hickory smoked bacon will deliver on smoky and savory deliciousness. If you are throwing a themed team party, attach small paper pendants of your team to toothpicks or short skewers to make them more festive.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Kabobs
If you are looking to add some lighter fare to your tailgating party, look no further than these Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Kabobs. Grand Champion offers both cooked and uncooked shrimp as well as shrimp on a stick to make the preparation for this recipe even easier. This recipe is delicious as is, but we encourage you to customize your own shrimp kabobs. Cube cuts of our marinated boneless pork chops or boneless prime rib roast to make surf ‘n turf kabobs. Rotate in green peppers, red onions, asparagus, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and more!
For more ideas and a full list of our products, visit Grand Champion Meats before you start your football Sunday grocery list.