MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The pandemic has impacted businesses differently, but for butcher shops and meat markets, business is almost more than they can handle.

Many have added staff to keep up with orders. Some of the uptick has to do with more people eating at home and shopping locally.

“This year is like nothing I’ve ever been through,” said Travis McDonald of McDonald’s Meats in Clear Lake.
The first spike came in April when meat processing plants temporarily closed and they became prime choice for farmers. At one point they processed 160 hogs in four weeks. Normally they do 40-60 in that span.
“I actually had to put a freeze on my butcher book for scheduling people,” said McDonald. “We are booked all the way out to November 2021.”
Booked out for animals that haven’t even been born yet.
And things are about to get even busier. More people are expected to hunt this year and that means more deer will be processed at meat markets.
McDonald believes his 4th generation, family-run store is a cut above whatever hunting season throws their way. “If I came to that where we’d have to cut it off to do a quality job, that’s what we have to do,” he said.
He’s hoping it doesn’t get THAT backlogged and so are his customers. To date, business is up more than 20%.
“My husband will ride up on his motorcycle and get their green pepper summer sausage he likes,” said customer Evie Berger. Demand is a good problem to have. Especially when there is no end in sight.
“We just trying to do the best we can and roll with the punches,” said McDonald.
McDonald said so far his store has added eight additional employees to keep up with demand and to help with fall. Bow hunting season for deer begins on Saturday in Minnesota.

John Lauritsen

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