Family-owned meat store rebuilds after fire

Galesburg Meat Company
Inside Galesburg Meat Company. (Nov. 16, 2017)

GALESBURG, Mich. (WOOD) — After Galesburg Meat Company burned down in June 2016. questions loomed about whether the 40-year-old business would rebuild. Now, the family business has risen from the ashes.

“We had a lightning strike in the middle of the night, and it burned it right down to the ground,” said Mark Christian, who owns and operates Galesburg Meat Company.

That act of Mother Nature turned out to be costly.

Christian was forced to open his meat shop inside his catering business, but business was down. And then there was the task of rebuilding the meat store. Christian said he thought about not rebuilding and closing shop for good.

“I about had it,” he said. “Enough of that, because it’s not much fun building a new building. There’s a lot of regulations and a lot of hoops to jump through.”

But something more important than making money kept him going.

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years,” Christian said. “It started with my dad when I was 14. Now you’re in the third generation, my kids, so might as well keep on going with it.”

Christian’s son and two daughters help run the place.

It wasn’t just family who thought it was a good idea for Galesburg Meat Company to rebuild. It was also customers like Larry Willis, who said he’s been taking his deer to Galesburg Meat Company to be processed for years.

“I’m glad they’re open, because they do a good job here,” Willis said.

Galesburg Meat Company hasn’t had an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new store yet because it’s been too busy serving customers.