Those meat processors who choose to operate a retail store enjoy a direct link to their consumers. Regardless of other distribution opportunities they might have, their meat market is a guaranteed point of sales. On the downside, they also get all the responsibilities of running a retail store along with all the responsibilities of a processing plant. While many of the requirements are the same — a plant and a store must be clean, and employees must practice good hygiene — there are noteworthy differences. Who ever heard of making a plant floor “pretty,” for instance?
A retail space must serve the practical purpose of selling sausages, chicken breasts or fresh cuts of meat, but it must do so in an appealing way. Darla Kiesel of Dewig Meats (Haubstadt, Ind.) and Mike Sloan of Hermann Wurst Haus (Hermann, Mo.) talked about their retail strategies in an educational session at the recent American Association of Meat Processors Convention in Kansas City, Mo. The name of the session was “Putting Lipstick on a Pig.”