Elk River Meat Market To Close After Half A Century

A small Minnesota community is saying goodbye to a longtime butcher shop, Caroline Cummings reports (2:04). WCCO 4 News At 6 - April 9, 2021

Video Transcript

- A small Minnesota community is saying goodbye to a longtime butcher shop. We first told you about Elk River Meats a couple of years ago when the store won Best Beef Sticks in Minnesota by WCCO viewers. Now the couple who owns it is retiring and closing their doors for good. Caroline Cummings shares their reflections on five decades in business.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: Elk River Meats is hardly the town's best kept secret.

- Been coming here for years and years.

PAULA HOFER: Their meats are so delicious.

- This is headcheese.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: But after five decades as a Main Street mainstay, the beloved butcher shop is closing its doors for good next month.

PAULA HOFER: I've got a little bit of the month left to make sure I am stocked up.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: That's because owners Bob and Denise Robeck are hanging up their aprons and finally getting to all the things they've been putting off while they enjoy their retirement.

BOB ROBECK: We have to work on our house. We've let that lax.

DENISE ROBECK: He laxes in doing those kind of things.

BOB ROBECK: Yeah, because this place takes all my time.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: After all, Bob says, he's put in an average of 63 hours a week to bring home the bacon-- literally. There is nothing the locals love more than the beef sticks, aptly called Happy Sticks. Someone bought $600 worth recently knowing soon, they won't be able to anymore.

DENISE ROBECK: It's like Christmas every weekend. Yeah. They're stocking up and--

BOB ROBECK: Stocking up on everything.

DENISE ROBECK: --want to get their goodies.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: And lucky for those around the Robeck kitchen table, retirement doesn't really mean retirement.

BOB ROBECK: Once it gets in your blood, I think, yeah, you'll just keep doing it.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: But long after the last Happy Stick is sold, there will still be so much to smile about.

DENISE ROBECK: Thank you to all of you. You're great. Our customers are great, and we will miss that.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: In Elk River, Caroline Cummings, WCCO 4 News.

- Well, there is still time to get some of your Happy Sticks. The shop isn't closing until May 1st, which is 50 years to the day that the couple first bought it.