By Teresa Taylor Williams
Muskegon Tribune Staff Writer
As a teenager in 1975, Craig Hindes had a job mopping floors and stocking shelves for extra cash at his neighborhood butcher shop.
Over the years he learned the business, and in 1983 he became owner.
Scott Meats has served the public from three different locations over the years, and always along Broadway Avenue in Muskegon Heights. Last fall, after outgrowing the shop at 309 E. Broadway, the business moved to a larger location across the street at 260 E. Broadway. The new store is bright and spacious, and allows for a longer counter with more variety of fresh meats, and an expanded line of frozen foods and overstocked items. The response from the public has been “overwhelmingly positive,” according to Hindes.
“We’ve nearly doubled our sales, and I’m seeing tons of new faces,” along with the familiar longtime loyal customers, said Hindes. Ruthann Olejarczyk Fekken said this is the only place she shops for meat. “Scott’s Meats is the best place to buy meat. They have great quality meat and all the workers are the nicest people. I buy all my meat there,” she said.
Hindes doesn’t believe in spending big dollars on advertising. Specials are updated weekly via the phone line, website and Facebook.
There are hundreds of Facebook followers, many with favorable comments and inquiries about various products.
The employees are very responsive to the public, both in person and online. A recent Facebook post from March 22 reads as follows: “A big thank you to everyone who tried our newest product and loved it and also told others how good it is, we couldn’t keep making good recipes and products like this without your help. Come get some tomorrow! We will post as soon as it’s done.”
Hindes believes quality and low prices speak volumes for his meat and other products.
This philosophy has proven successful for Scott Meats. Simply drive by on any given day and notice the number of cars in the parking lot.
“Our big draw is the prices, variety, and the availability of fresh meats on display in open air” and not pre-packaged like in most stores, said Hindes.
Further, there are many clients from outside of Muskegon County who utilize Scott Meats. For example, turkey knuckles are unique to this region, and regulars from Atlanta and Chicago call to place orders.
According to Dave Rood, Scott Meats offers excellent prices and a great variety of meat, and he “filled a stand up deep freezer with over $400 worth of meat for $250.”
Josh Bisson said he frequents Scott Meats because it is a supporter of his alma mater, Muskegon Catholic Central Schools. “I try to frequent them as often as possible. I used them for some pulled pork barbecues I made for a fundraiser last year and the smoked pork shoulders they did were delicious and reasonably priced,” said Bisson.
The crown jewel of Scott Meats is its new, custom-made smoked meats processing facility. Run by Dave Pruim, offerings range from smoked pork chops, pulled pork, ribs, bacon and ham, to jerky.
Their unique recipe for “Scottdogs” was recently recognized, earning the title of “champion” at the Cured Meat Competition, hosted by the Michigan Meat Association earlier this month. It was the first time entering this competition.
A Heart for Muskegon Heights For Hindes, Scott Meats is a family business. Instilling a work ethic in his children was important, as all four of his children have worked there and two presently still do.
“We’re different, we are a destination store. We draw people because we try to do things differently, offering quality products at a low price,” said Hindes. “The city has been good to work with, we have great customers and the whole community always supports us. “
What: Scott Meats, home of “The Largest Meat Counter in Muskegon County”
Where: 260 E. Broadway, Muskegon Heights
Phone: (231) 733-9573; Weekly specials hotline, (231) 739-SALE
Hours of operation: Mondays, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Sundays