Webster City meat company has new owner

— Messenger photo by Tyler Anderson
Webster City Custom Meats, pictured above, was absorbed into a division of Midwest Quality Wholesale Inc., at the beginning of May. WC Custom Meats will retain its identity.

WEBSTER CITY — Local pork processor Webster City Custom Meats Inc. became a division of Midwest Quality Wholesale Inc. at the beginning of this month.

Midwest Quality Wholesale Inc. is a subsidiary of Fareway Stores Inc., which is based in Boone.

Phil Voge, WC Custom Meats’ vice president, said the local firm will retain its Webster City Custom Meats identity, but labels will now read: Webster City Custom Meats, a division of MQW Inc.

Voge is vice president of the new organization, as is Connie Ingraham, who was president of Webster City Custom Meats before the transition.

“I don’t think we could have been more philosophically aligned with another buyer than Fareway,” Voge said Wednesday.

He used the words stability and continuity to describe the transition.

“They’re going to do nothing but make this a better business,” he said, “and take us to a new level.”

Aaron Irlbeck will be the new local leadership; he is currently working in Boone.

Voge said the Bell’s Mill and Prairie Gold labels for which Webster City Custom Meats is known will remain unchanged. The processor already makes products for Fareway under the grocery chain’s in-house label.

He added that employees of the pork processor, located at 1611 E. Second St. in Webster City, have been assured that their jobs are secure in this transition.

He and Ingraham will slowly phase out of daily operations, Voge said. He forecasts them working fewer and fewer hours until perhaps the end of this calendar year.

Voge, who will mark 45 years as a vice president with Webster City Custom Meats in July, acknowledged the good fortune he embraced 11 years ago when he was faced with the opportunity to become a partial owner of the business.

“We were afforded in 2012 the chance to buy in to the company,” he said, adding, “We are passing the baton.”

About Webster City Custom Meats

Webster City Custom Meats has been in business for 50 years “and has been a good business,” Voge said.

It specializes in custom meat processing of smoked ham, smoked bacon, smoked turkeys, fresh sausage products, boneless ham roasts and smoked pork loins, according to its website.

The 65,000-plus square foot main plant and 35,000 square foot warehouse are located on the east side of Webster City. The business complex also includes a 9,000 square foot truck garage.

About Fareway Stores Inc.

Fareway Stores Inc., of which Midwest Quality Wholesale Inc. is a division, is a Midwest grocery company operating more than 130 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, according to its website.

“Fareway holds family values in the highest regard, demonstrating integrity, fairness, and honesty in relationships with customers, employees, vendors, and suppliers,” its website reads. “Fareway is a family-owned business, and a top 10 employer in Iowa, with over 12,000 employees in a seven-state region.”


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