(Photo by Christine Terpening – Tom Hosler, his daughter Shelly Smith and his son-in-law Rob Smith)
These days quality and a bargain don’t always go hand in hand, but that’s not the case at Rives Quality Meats in Rives Junction. The establishment is bustling with customers on a daily basis, but approaching a holiday, such as Easter, they are really hopping.
Owner Tom Hosler has a long history of being a butcher. He has been cutting meat since he was sixteen years old. He began working for a business that rented the basement of a downtown grocery store and he learned the trade. The owner of that business moved to Jackson and left Tom without a job, but also left him with a lifelong skill. With used equipment, and humble beginnings, Hosler was in business for himself at 26 years old. This October he will celebrate 50 years in business.
“They come from all over,” said the owner. He offers a large variety of meat cut right in the market. A big draw is his bulk meat. Hosler has a walk-in cooler where people can get bulk amounts of beef, pork and chicken. Though you can buy retail cuts piece by piece, the bargain is in bulk. Hosler and his team will even cut the bulk amount to better serve patrons. Rives Quality Meats sells a whopping 300-500 pounds of ground hamburger daily.
This family business sells a large variety of fresh meats such as New York Strip steaks and Ribeye, breakfast sausage, chicken leg quarters, and boneless chicken breasts. Hosler’s crew also makes their own snack sausage and jerky. The list of products is enough to make a person hungry, but Hosler has a fix for that. “We’ve become a destination,” he exclaimed with a chuckle. They come from near and far for the freshest meat. Hosler said that he had a couple come all the way from Vermontville. “They spent a lot of money,” he quipped.
Special orders are available. It’s worth a call to see what is available. Hosler said he had three cases of leg of lamb ordered for Easter. “We’ve been really busy every day and this is a holiday weekend, and it keeps us even busier. With Mother’s Day around the corner, Hosler says they won’t slow down all through summer.
Most everyone that works for Hosler is family. The market has been a source of family pride for many decades. Hosler works alongside his wife and daughter, his son-in-law who is also a meat cutter, a sister-in-law and a nephew. But, he really beams when he talks about his great-granddaughters, ages 12 and 14, showing interest in the family business. “They both put in a few hours each week to help. That’s the next generation,” he said with obvious pride.
Rives Quality Meats is located on the corner of Rives Eaton Road and Main Street in Rives Junction. It’s worth the trip to visit this welcoming business. You can contact them at (517)569-3915 to see how they can “meat” your appetite’s needs.