Lorentz Meats’ 50-year celebration and open house
To celebrate 50 years of serving the local and niche meat industry, Lorentz Meats will open its doors for an Open House on September 21, 2019. The event will take place from 10:30 am to 1 pm at 705 Cannon Industrial Blvd., Cannon Falls, MN. They will be showing off recent expansions in the dock space, a completely new slaughter floor and a big red office barn. The Open House will feature a self-guided tour throughout the facility, samples from Lorentz customers’ branded programs, and staff available to answer any questions along the way.
In 1968, Ed and Mary Lorentz took over the Bremer Brothers Locker and started Lorentz Processing & Locker Plant. For the first three decades, Ed and Mary with their sons served the Cannon Falls community as a local processor and locker. The locker business grew through the 70’s, hitting its peak by the end of that decade. It was a good peak for the small locker at about 1 million pounds of product per year; however, farming fell out during the early 80’s and Lorentz Meats had to adapt to that. They added a hot and cold deli and became one of the most loved destinations in Cannon Falls. They gave folks traditional blue collar recipes, large portions and a deck out front to enjoy their lunch. They also added catering to their list of services, serving area celebrations.
The sons Rob and Mike purchased the business from Ed and Mary in 1998. Having recently developed a program and guide to help farmers brand their product, Rob and Mike recognized an opportunity to change the direction of Lorentz. They shifted the focus back to making meat and sought niche meat producers and farmers as customers. Niche meats, still relatively unknown at that time, are meats with special claims, such as organic or grass-fed, or specific species like bison or Berkshire pigs or even geographic indicators, like local or regional. Encouraged by the potential of this new market, Rob and Mike built a facility just outside of Cannon Falls in 2000 for processing only. Within a few years, the deli at the original location in town was sold and has since closed.
After recovering from a humbling first decade, Lorentz Meats was gaining ground by 2011. The number of employees increased from 25 to 50 and customers were strong and asking for more. In 2013, the original 10,000 square foot facility was expanded to 30,000 square feet and in 2014, Lorentz Meats partnered to open a sister facility in Vermont.
Still dedicated to the niche meat industry, today Lorentz Meats, with its second facility Vermont Packinghouse, employs over 200 people and produces close to 20 million pounds of product per year. Since 1968, Lorentz Meats has stayed true to what are now its core values: Service, Pride, Integrity and Leadership. Ed and Mary instilled these values in their sons, both as people and as business owners. In turn, Rob and Mike have built the business to uphold these values.
On September 21, Lorentz Meats is pleased to invite family and friends to help celebrate the culmination of this 50 year history, the good times and the hard times. It is also a chance to share the newest additions to the building: about 10,000 square feet of new production space and almost 2,000 square feet of office space. With the fresh face of the unmissable red barn to welcome visitors and customers, Lorentz Meats is excited for what the next 50 years might bring.
Source: Lorentz Meats