306. Sanders Meats


A locally owned and operated meat market has special appeal to visitors and residents and it makes one feel that the purchase is personal and fulfilled in a customized way. It has the emotional feeling of homemade and sensitive care along with a perceived belief that the meat will be of a higher quality. And tradition counts too.

Sanders Meats was started in this little village of Custer in 1925 by founder Joseph Sanders. He was an entrepreneur who started a micro business from scratch peddling his meat with horses and a sleigh during the winter months. He later delivered his homemade products with a Model T Ford.  Amazingly the tradition of a locally owned meat market continues strongly today as Derek, Alec and Corey Sanders are now fourth generation owners in a larger partnership with their father David and grandparents Carlton and Margaret Sanders.

The Butterball Hams tm is their signature meat product and the steadily increasing demand has expanded the company’s market area reaching throughout Northern and Western Michigan. When local families gather on holidays and a delicious ham is the entreaty, guests frequently ask: “Where did you get this ham, I have never had one this good.” The answer is: “It’s a Butterball Ham tm from Sanders. Via the Internet, the business sends their products to all 50 states.

In the late 1930’s, the business was moved from its original location on Conrad Road into the vacant Custer Bank Building. Given its growing business, Sanders Meats continued to expand eventually occupying nearly the entire block on Main Street in Custer.

The company purchases cattle and hogs from local farmers and at area auctions. Sanders Meats processes its meat in its local plant and all of the smoked products are prepared in the family’s smokehouse. It sells its Butterball Hams tm, hot dogs, jerky, burgers, lunch meats, deli products, sausage products and beef or pork hand cut steaks, roasts and chops, cut to your preference, at its retail store  237 S. Main Street. Sanders Butterball Pork Products tm can be shipped anywhere in the US and customers can also order products on line at www.sandersmeats.com.

If you value high quality locally processed and packaged meat in an atmosphere of a hometown meat market, then you will want to experience Sanders Meats and do business with a family that has been serving customers for over 89 years.