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Buster's Country Meats and Catering has new owner

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

Cody Koebke took over as owner of Buster�s Country Meats and Catering in July 2011.

Cody Koebke started working at Buster's Country Meats outside of Spring Valley when he was in high school. He grew up in Spring Valley and graduated from Kingsland High School.

Koebke knew he wanted to own his own business, but he wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to do. While working one day, owner Buster Johnson asked if he would be interested in taking over his business one day when he retired.

"I got a two-year degree in business administration at RCTC," said Koebke. "I worked into it slowly."

Johnson and Koebke made the transition over the summer. Koebke didn't only buy the business from Johnson; he bought the house, the land, and the buildings that came with it.

It took a lot of work for Koebke to make the transition from employee to owner of his own business. He spent a lot of time doing paperwork for permits and inspections. They also put on a new addition to the building this fall.

"The state made it mandatory to put on a smokehouse for the sausages and stuff," explained Koebke. "I thought it would be good to put the catering in there, too."

It is comforting to Koebke that they can do everything on site now, and save time and money, as they used to send things to Grand Meadow for smoking. Monday through Thursday they do their own slaughtering on site, and Koebke said they have anywhere from seven to eight beef cows and 10-12 hogs a week come through there.

Right now Koebke is putting in 70-80 hours a week, but he has no problem with that. He is enjoying his new life, and is very glad he took over the business.

"Things have calmed down a little now," he said. He added that things were very busy during hunting season when people brought their deer in to be processed.

Buster's Country Meats has been around since 1979, and has people from all over traveling to the small business in the country for their quality meat and small-town customer service. They also do catering, which keeps them busy during the wedding season. There are eight employees that work for Koebke and help keep things moving along.

According to Koebke, they have a lot of local customers, as well as people from Albert Lea, La Crosse, Cannon Falls, and as far away as Mason City.

"It's a trusted name," said Koebke. "It's the quality product, and the customer service."

In July, the name will officially be changed to Ody's Country Meats and Catering, but it will still be the same family business, the same quality product, and the same personalized service that will bring people in from all over.

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