Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

Grilling season is just starting, and your family deserves the best. It’s time to take a drive to Rives Quality Meats, a family-owned and operated meat market for the best in meat, cheese, prepared foods, and fresh produce. It’s located at 396 East Main Street in Rives Junction, Michigan. It’s the busy shop on the corner with a steady flow of customers.
Prime cuts, great prices, and the best customer service are the hallmarks of Rives Quality Meats. Tom Hosler, the owner, started Rives Quality Meats in 1973, and 48 years later they are a true hometown legend.
His staff of nine are mostly family members, including his son-in-law, Bob Smith, who is the manager and has worked there for 35 years. His daughter, Shelly, started working there when she was only 13.
The store is clean, well-lit, and well organized. The meat cases display a beautiful selection of beef, pork, chicken, sausage, and prepared foods. Photos from the early days of Rives Junction line the walls, and Hosler is part of a group hoping to start a historical museum in town.
Hosler has a team of skilled butchers who cut and process the meat by hand. They offer beef sides, hind or front quarters, whole or half hogs cut and packaged for your family size, and double-wrapped for the freezer.
He started out in the meat business working for another shop, Hosler explained. He realized that what he really wanted was to own his own store. When the corner lot they are now on came up for sale he jumped on it—and bought it the very next day after it was listed. He has added on numerous times over the years, the most recent addition being a cooler-room where meat is displayed that can be purchased in bulk. Bulk meat is sliced for free, he pointed out.
With the COVID-19 situation, there were limits on how many could be in the store at one time, Hosler explained. Because of the demand, from March to December an employee had to be stationed at the front door to monitor the headcount, and lines formed outside, waiting to come in. “They come from all over Michigan to shop for meat here,” Hosler said.
What brings them to Rives Quality Meats? “Price is probably number one, and then our customer service,” Hosler explained. His friendly and personable demeanor keeps the customers returning. “Our ground beef and boneless chicken breasts are our top sellers,” he added. They sell over 900 pounds of chicken breasts each week and 300 to 500 pounds of 85% lean ground beef each day.
They also sell meat to local restaurants, including Mancino’s and The Roadhouse in Jackson.
The aroma of home-cooked food hits you as you walk in the door. You’ll find a wide variety of prepared sandwiches, subs, sloppy joes, chili, and more, all made daily, along with other side dishes for a quick and delicious lunch. Lunch runs from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and gets pretty busy. A lot of the food items come from the personal recipes of his wife, Sue, and can be found in the cookbook she and their daughter wrote.
You’ll also find smoked meats, like bacon, brats, jerky, and meat sticks that are made in-house. The jerky is a top seller, and it comes in three different flavors: barbeque, regular, and Chicago style (spicey). Turkey jerky is also available, in sweet and regular. The jerky and snack sticks are often purchased to send to military members overseas.
“They are absolutely the best in the business. Extremely professional, very knowledgeable, and a very clean environment,” a recent Google reviewer wrote about Rives Quality Meats.
You can contact Rives Quality Meats by calling 517-569-3915 or emailing them at Their website is at and you can find them on Facebook at @rivesqualitymeats.