Jeff and Cathy Mayer started out in the meat business in 1989 in a converted two-car garage at Stephenson’s Meat Cutting, which was owned by Grandpa Art. One summer, he showed Jeff the ropes of the business and ever since then, Jeff knew that he was destined to continue working in the meat trade for the duration of his career.
Now, with 30 years of business operations under their belt and 15 full-time employees, Mayer’s Custom Meats continues to be family owned and operated. The company specializes in retail meat sales, custom meat cutting and sausage making. Meat lovers can find almost any meat product they’re looking for, including 28 different smoked bratwurst varieties and various cuts of beef, pork, chicken and wild game.
Aly Mayer, manager of the shop, said that their most popular item is their house-made jerky. They hand cut and marinate seven different flavors in-house with their own original recipes and, on average, they create about 600 pounds a week. Their next best seller is their 12 different varieties of pepperoni. The company’s team continuously thinks of new products to help make mealtime easier, which has helped them bring in new customers over the last few years.
“Even our tinier customers recognize our storefront,” Aly said. “We often get parents quoting their kids when passing our shop chanting, ‘meat sticks, meat sticks!’”
Aly said that their primary success comes from the sense of family that is created when customers visit.
“We are so thankful we get to come to work every day and really enjoy every interaction we have with each of our customers,” she said. “Some of these people have known us since my siblings and I were in diapers, others may have only been coming in for a few weeks. We really like to take the time to get to know our community and the people that make up this great area that we’ve grown up in. We want you to feel like family when you walk through our doors.”
Mayer’s Custom Meats also places high priority on local business partnerships. They team up with other small businesses in the area by selling local products in the store. They also partner with Oregon-based farms like Painted Hills and Carlton Farms to ensure that they provide the best quality meats for their customers.
As far as growth goes, Mayer’s Custom Meats is looking to expand their front counter in the next five years. They are exploring the idea of serving lunch with a casual dine-in option as well. No matter what, Aly said that they will continue to reflect their most important theme in all their business operations: family.
“Our customers are supporting a local, family run business and we like to make sure they know we are appreciative of that,” Aly said. “We want to make your visit to our shop an experience, not just a transaction. We like sending people out with a smile and pepperoni stick in hand.”
Mayer’s Custom Meats is located at 12903 NE 72nd Ave., in Vancouver.