There is a single name in St. Michael, Minnesota that has been synonymous with “meat” for as long as the community has been here.
This fall, Dehmer’s Meat Market will mark 90 years in the St. Michael community. That’s long enough to see more changes in the ways we live, play and do business than any single man can count.
But so many things at Dehmer’s haven’t, amazingly, changed. The cuts are still the same. Some of the recipes that have made Dehmer’s the “go-to” for meat processing – from domestic animals like pigs and cows to wild game like deer and waterfowl – have been handed down from generation to generation.
“It’s a store that everyone here has poured their heart into,” said Tony Dehmer, the third generation owner. He and his wife, Amy, have operated the store since October 2005. Tony, himself, has been working there since he was 13.
In their tenure, Tony and Amy have worked hard to raise Dehmers’ profile as both a market and a community member. The couple brings a trailer full of meat and grills to each St. Michael-Albertville High School home football game, where Tony grills up, literally, hundreds of brats and burgers. All the money raised goes straight back to the youth football program.
Meanwhile, they’re also supplying sausage for things like Lions feeds, church festivals, some of your favorite restaurants and even local grocers.
The market welcomes dozens of lunch customers every day. Amy releases the menu each week via email, and you can sign up at email@example.com if you haven’t done that already.
“We’ve used Boarshead products for a while now with the lunches, and that really was well received by everyone. We’re thinking the future we’ll have more areas set aside for natural foods, things that people are looking for today,” Amy said.
“It’s a good city, good community. We’ve always been happy to be a part of it,” Tony said.
The store will mark 90 years during the holiday season. It’s a time when the market it steadily busy – turkeys, hams and roasts are moving quickly now. But, Amy said, it’s also the time when the owners and employees catch up most with the “regular” customers who have made Dehmer’s a three-generation success.
“There are so many who make it part of their holiday tradition, and we have a lot of traditions of our own,” she said.
As for Tony’s dad, Joe, who ran the market from 1976 to 2005, well, he’s still around, Amy said.
And that – the love of the business, the community, and the art of curing and cooking meats – is what has made the shop a nine decade success. Beyond serving people, Tony is an established St. Michael Lion, while Amy is active in organizations like Shop Saint Michael. Both are proud parents to four kids, ages 13 to 26.
“You have to love it. With the amount of time we all spend here, and in the community with catering events, it’s our life. But we enjoy it,” Tony said.
Find Dehmer’s on Facebook, or check out the website, which will be changing up soon. You can also contact Dehmer’s at 763-497-2455.