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Edgewood meat locker receives funds for expansion to help meet demand increase

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:50 PM CST
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EDGEWOOD, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced it had granted funds for the expansion of two small meat processing companies in the state.

One of those facilities is the Edgewood Locker. Luke Kerns, who co-owns the business with other family members, said they plan on building a new 19,000-square feet facility with the funds.

“When this plant was built in 1997 we were doing a fraction of what we are doing today,” Kerns said. “So we really need that extra space to do what we are doing now.”

Kerns said they have really seen an increase in demand since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, particularly in their custom processing projects. Those projects often entail local farmers raising their own animals and then bringing them to Edgewood Locker to have them processed.

“Right now we are booked, sold out, not only for 2021 on our beef processing, but also all the way through 2022,” Kerns said. “So we are two years sold out on our beef processing.”

Kerns said the money will also allow them to grow their wholesale business, which includes selling to grocery and convenience stores.

“That is really where we see a lot of our growth in the next few years and so we are looking somewhere around quadruple the amount of business we do wholesale,” Kerns said.

Opening the new facility, which Kerns expects will happen sometime next year, will also create around 14 full-time jobs.

“In our community of around 800 people it is a pretty big deal,” Kerns said. “So that will take us from around 55 employees to around 70 full-time employees.”

Kerns said expanding allows them to continue fulfilling their mission.

“We really pride ourselves on being the best out there from a quality perspective,” Kerns said. “We want to make sure that every package a customer buys from us or every package that we do for customer processing is of the highest quality and the best taste out there.”

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