By Charlotte Caldwell
JACKSON CENTER – A meat shop that has been a staple in Jackson Center since 1961 is expanding to better serve the needs of its expanding customer base.
The ground-breaking has already occurred at the upcoming Curly’s Custom Meats processing facility at 610 W. Pike St. in Jackson Center and the facility is estimated to be complete in November or December of 2023, according to Luke Shroyer, the director of operations at Curly’s. The Curly’s team chose to rebuild at the new site for a few reasons: the new plant will be on state Route 274 giving the business better visibility as the current location is hard to find for customers from out of the area, and business has been steadily increasing.
“Our business has really evolved in the last four to five years. We have been extremely busy and we’re actually at some points of the year turning business away because we just don’t have the room to do everything and we’ve really outgrown our old spot,” Shroyer said.
Curly’s currently serves about 40 customers per day, Shroyer said, and they are hoping to double that at the new plant.
The estimated $1.4 million project will include a retail area open to the public for the sale of meat, produce, food and non-food products which could expand Curly’s current 15-employee team. Shroyer said the retail area might take a few months to open after the plant’s completion date as setting up the processing side is the first priority. As an example of the expansion of the processing side, Shroyer said the new hanging cooler will hang at least 100 heads of cattle, whereas the current cooler can hang roughly 40.
The new plant will also be fully USDA inspected. The current plant is only set up for USDA processing and the products have to be sent to another facility to be inspected and stamped.
The future of the old facility is uncertain. Shroyer added that many aspects of the business will remain the same, like their priority of customer service and hours of operation with a potential expansion of the latter to include Saturdays.
For more information about Curly’s Custom Meats, visit their website or Facebook page or call 937-596-6518.