Big Steer Meats
Sometimes our relationships with local vendor partners are formed in a roundabout way. Case in point is Big Steer Meats of St. Paul. Several years ago, owner Charlie Cory came to Kowalski's with his jambalaya, not exactly a dish you would associate with a meat company that specializes more in Italian fare. However, his partnership with Kowalski's has evolved throughout the years, and Big Steer now produces and packages our Kowalski's Signature Beef Sticks, Beef Jerky, Smoked Chicken and Turkey Strips, Smoked Brats and Wieners.
Charlie's dad started the company back in 1978, and they moved to their current location on the East Side of St. Paul 14 years ago. This corner butcher shop is a local favorite and is where their products are both produced and sold. Charlie has worked in the business since it began and his passion is obvious in everything he does.
"When we began to talk with Big Steer Meats about producing our signature smoked meat items, I asked Charlie when we could send someone over to look at his operation," recalls Boyd Oase, Meat Director. "When he said anytime, I asked him if our person could stop by within the next half hour. He never hesitated, and that meant a lot to us. It told us that his standards were high enough that he didn't need any time to clean things up before we came," adds Oase.The newest additions to our signature smoked meats line are three varieties of brats, a Polish sausage and wieners.
"Their natural casing gives you that characteristic snap when you bite into them and lets you know they have that old fashioned quality that many people are looking for," said Charlie. "Our sausages are made with meat that has been raised with no growth stimulants or antibiotics, and we smoke them in small batches in our in-store smoker, using a hickory wood blend, on a daily basis."