As soon as Missi Koebke fills the cooler with pickle-flavored beef sticks, they are gone. Customers at Ody’s Country Meats can’t get enough of the new creation. But the popular flavor is only one reason behind the fantastic sales. The other is the new and easy access customers have to the tasty treat.
In September, owner Cody Koebke and his wife opened a second retail location along Highway 16 in Spring Valley. The 1000-square foot space next to Subway complements Ody’s original location, which is five miles south of Spring Valley.
“You can find almost everything at our new location except bulk quantities, since we don’t have the storage here,” Cody says. “We have all our fresh meats, snack sticks, jerky, cheeses, cheese curds, seasoning and BBQ sauce.
He adds that it had been his goal to open a second location ever since he bought the original business in 2011, after having worked there since 2003.
“I knew at our main location we were limited in drive-by traffic. We have a great clientele but to get the roadside traffic, the campers and summer travelers, we knew we had to be in town,” he says.
The expansion immediately paid off, says Missi, who runs the new location with her niece and oldest daughter, and with occasional help from her husband, who is typically at the main location along with a staff of seven.
“We’ve received really good feedback here in town. A lot of people have come in, and their first words are ‘I’m so glad you are here,’” Missi says.
That’s also thanks to Ody’s well-known reputation for quality products. Ody’s regularly sees customers from the Austin and Rochester areas, and Cody says it’s not uncommon to even get traffic from the Twin Cities, La Crosse or Waterloo,.
Ody’s main offerings include custom processing, catering and retail sales from beef to pork, lamb, buffalo, seafood and poultry. Ody’s BBQ and seasoning mixes can also be found at several other stores in the area. However, Ody’s customers should not expect to see meats at other commercial locations.
“Our beef is only state-level inspected, so we can only sell it at our own store,” Cody says and adds that processing orders should only be placed at the main store.
As the holidays approach, Missi encourages customers to check out some of the new heat-and-eat items.
“We have mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, for example. Those have gone over pretty well. Cody has also been doing some ready-to-eat baby back ribs,” she says.
Anyone planning to place a catering order should know that Ody’s will not cater on the actual holiday due to being closed and that any orders should be placed around two weeks in advance.
It was also a holiday tradition that sparked Cody and Missi’s idea to create their now famous pickle-flavored beef sticks.
“You eat your traditional meat and pickle rollup at Christmas time and just think, ‘Hm, can I put that into a stick?,” Cody says.
From Buster’s to Ody’s
Ody’s Country Meats was originally Buster’s Country Meats, after Buster Johnson of Spring Valley established the business in 1978. Originally the cleanup boy and lawn mower for the business, Cody acquired many skills from Johnson during his eight years working under him and eventually purchased the business after he earned his business administration degree in college and renamed it Ody’s Country Meats. Soon after, Ody’s saw its first expansion, which included a large smokehouse and catering building.
When to Go
The new Ody’s Country Meats store is at 307 1/2 Broadway Avenue South in Spring Valley. Retail hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The main location is at 17643 121st Avenue about five miles south of Spring Valley and a mile west of U.S. Highway 63. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The general phone number is (507) 346-2579.
You can also find Ody’s Country Meats on Facebook and on the web at odyscountrymeats.com.