Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 66
ALEWEL’S COUNTRY MEATS
Above: Alewel’s meat products have earned the family over 200 state and national awards for their quality. Lower: Alewel’s website features recipes and tips for cooking, gift packages and custom processing information. (Photos courtesy of Alewel’s Country Meats)
A visit to the firm’s website (www. alewels.com) provides a lesson in marketing gift packages. Bundles give a choice of several sausages and a bacon sampler lets one get cured, Cajun, peppered and dry cured bacons. Others offer everything from smoked turkey, smoked chops, ham, sausage and cheeses. Alewel’s website also features recipes and tips for cooking steaks, standing rib roasts, Alaskan halibut and even red-eye gravy to grace their famous dry-cured country hams. For the custom trade, they offer to process product using customers’ recipes or theirs. Warrensburg is still a rural community and about 3,000 vehicles a day pass in front of the store. When WalMart opted to offer only pre-packaged meats, Randy stuck with traditional service and enjoyed his biggest Christmas volume ever. In 2010, Alewel’s sales grew by 33 percent. Maintaining a business for 79 years requires a nimble approach and flexible business model. All the while, a commitment to serving the community and the industry in which it operates is essential. Roger, who flew B-52 bombers in the Air Force, joined the Missouri Army National Guard when he returned to the meat business. He also served as the manager of the Missouri State Fair and his wife, Ronnie, worked as the secretary of the Missouri Association of Meat Processors (MAMP). Hugo, Randy and Roger were inducted into MAMP’s Hall of fame in 1989, 2001 and 2002, respectively. Both Roger and Randy were presidents of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) and in 2004 they became the fi rst father and son to be inducted into AAMP’s Cured Meat Hall of Fame. Roger and
Ronnie were honored with AAMP’s Annual Achievement Award in 1997. Randy is presently commander of the 35th Engineer Brigade of the Missouri National Guard and has earned the rank of colonel. His involvement in the Missouri Pork Producers and Missouri Cattlemens Associations, the Warrensburg Rotary Club, Western Missouri Medical Center (trustee) and Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce speaks volumes, but considering he has also managed Alewel’s Cattle Company and Brisket’s BBQ Restaurant, a drivethrough promoting Alewel’s smoked products and catering services, no one
can question how much he believes in giving back to those who supported him and his family business. But when asked about what makes him proudest, Randy serves up another piece of his brand of humblepie: “The employees we have are what make and sustain our business. We have three who have been here over 20 years, one over 30 years and the average is nine years with us.” ■
Steve Krut, an industry veteran, is a contributing editor writing exclusively for Meat&Poultry, specializing in small business issues. He resides in Marietta, Pa. We would like to hear from you – to comment on this story or to request reprints, contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
66 • Meat&Poultry • March 2011 • www.MeatPoultry.com