It all started in 1945. The Kenrick’s that everyone knows today began as a rolling meat market in St. Louis, originally owned by Herb Kenrick. Herb smoked meats in his garage and began his business in a truck, which he described as “the most modern electrically equipped market in the world on wheels!”
While many things have changed over 76 years — including moving from a truck to a large store — the one thing that hasn’t changed is the recipes for their original sausages and Kenrick’s landjaeger, a famous cured smoked sausage. Herb’s recipes are still used today, showing that quality has remained the top priority over the years.
Yet it’s not just the meats or the decades of history that have made Kenrick’s what it is today. The employees have a hand in that too.
“The employees build a business,” said Joe Weinmann, “Joe the Butcher,” who has been the owner of Kenrick’s meats since 1975. “Our employees have been with us for a very long time, some of them over 30 years. They built the business. I might be called Joe the Butcher, but our employees are the first ones to make sure that they take care of our customers.”
While the name “Joe the Butcher” may seem like just a nickname, it has grown into something much bigger.
“How the name Joe the Butcher popped up is a friend of mine said, ‘Why you don’t go and trademark that name, Joe the Butcher?’ and I said, ‘That sounds a little hokey,’ and he goes, ‘No I think it would be great!’ So now I’m known even to friends as Joe the Butcher,” said Joe. “It’s been a great tool.”
When Joe the Butcher took over Kenrick’s, it was simply a small butcher shop that specialized in sides of beef and smaller cuts too. They quickly grew larger and larger until Joe’s brother, John, needed to be brought on to help manage the business.
Even after 45 years of owning Kenrick’s meats, Joe the Butcher still gets compliments from customers.
“One of the highest compliments that I’ve received is when people tell me 'Joe, it’s unbelievable how you built this store.' No, I didn’t build this store, my employees built this store … because they are the ones that are first in line to make sure customers are taken care of.”
If the history of Kenrick’s has taught them anything, it’s that the business will only continue to grow. The community and customers are sure to flock to them for their high-quality meats for another 75 years and beyond. The future of Kenrick’s is brighter than ever.
“The next generation is my daughter, my nephew Steve and all the key employees that have worked here for many years. It makes me feel good that the future of Kenrick’s is very bright.”