Rich Anderson

Meat locker owner
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Rich Anderson and his wife, Julie, own and operate the Stanhope Locker. Julie's grandfather operated the locker plant for about 20 years, and then she and her husband took it over. In the past several years, they have turned the business from a local, small town meat storage and butchering facility into a nationally-known manufacturer of beef and turkey jerky.

Meatlockers were and are an important part of an agricultural economy. In the days before refrigeration, they provided a centralized place for folks to store meat they didn’t want to smoke, salt, or can. Lockers also provided butchering services for hunters, though state and federal regulations require separate cutting facilities for uninspected game.

Today, lockers function as local meat markets, and storage facilities for cuts of meat too large for the home freezer. Many also have smoke houses and sell inspected, commercial meat.

Besides serving as the town of Stanhope’s meat locker, Rich and Julie’s business also makes and sells summer sausage and potato baloney, also known as potato sausage, a Swedish specialty. That recipe, which was handed down from Julie’s grandfather, is a closely guarded secret, as are the spice blends for the various types of jerky. According to Rich, the real secret to their jerky is to produce it in small batches, marinating and them smoking the meat over several days.

The Andersons were featured participants in the Smithsonian’s 1996 Festival of American Folklife and the Iowa’s Sesquicentennial Festival of Iowa Folklife that same year.

The Andersons no longer own the Stanhope Locker, but you can still get their award winning jerky and other meats from the current owners.

Contact: Stanhope Meat Locker, 515.826.3280, jaw@netins.net.