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Williams Tells Kiwanis about WP Meat Company

Built in the 1970’s and what began as the Enfield Slaughter Plant run by Billy (or Gene) Renshaw (depending on how you knew him), WP Meat Company is now under the direction of Emmy (Pruitt) Williams.  Between the Renshaw regime and Williams, the plant was also owned and operated by Bruce Fechtig from 2007 until this year when Williams pulled the trigger to buy the operation.

The young entrepreneur came to own the operation through a series of events showcasing Williams work ethic and ingenuity.  She says her father bought an old hog farm and originally planned to demolish the barn.  When she questioned him on why he would destroy the barn, he told her that if she cleaned it out that he would take on raising hogs again.

“So a few months later, I went to him and said ‘ok the barn’s cleaned out’.  The barn is a few miles from our house so he had no idea I was out there cleaning out the barn in my free time.  And he said, ‘well I guess I have to hold up my end of the bargain.’

She says they were initially raising 50 – 80 head at a time and selling them as wholes and halves.  She says she found that people struggled with the concept of processing prompting her to want to be able to sell individual cuts of meat.  She purchased an enclosed trailer and freezers and set up for farmer’s markets and traveled to nearby towns to sell meats.  Another opportunity would present itself.

“I was just paying a lot in processing costs and I was like, why not cut out the middle man.  So I heard that Bruce was potentially selling the packing plant and I went and talked to him.  It was only two or three weeks from the time I talked to him until we said, ok let’s do this…and here we are.”

She says about 90 percent of their business currently is people bringing in their own animals or animals they’ve purchased.  The Williams continue to raise their own animals and sell pork as well as beef through their farm to table operation.  In fact, it’s key to Williams growth projections.

“I really want to grow the business in raising, processing, and selling my own animals to places.  So my goal is to get into more restaurants and grocery stores.  A lot of people don’t travel to Enfield to buy groceries and I realize that.  I’m never going to do as much retail sales there as I’d like to so if I can do more wholesale to more popular places and get things in different grocery stores, that’s my goal because I think that’s how I’m going to move the most product.”

Learn more at http://www.wpmeatco.com and find WP Meat Company at 421 Brockett Street in Enfield.  You can also call 618-963 – 2813.

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