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Key’s Family Butcher Shop (Formerly Advanced Meat Processing) has a lot of history in the Van Buren area.
Originally built by the Lasiter family in the late 1950’s, the one room slaughter house served the farmers of
the entire area. The Lasiter’s moved on to Waldron in 1962, selling the slaughter house to the Garner family. In the early 80’s, the processing plant become a USDA facility with plenty of cooler and freezer space to offer both Custom and Inspected Slaughter services to the region. After many years of dealing with illness Mr. Garner didn’t want to just close the doors. He wanted it to be successful, so in the fall of 2009, the decision was made to sell the business to the Key family.
The Key family has a very rich history of meat cutting in this area. Key’s Grocery in Kibler was very well known. My father started in a grocery store at 13yrs old. He cut meat until the day he died at 67. My mother began working in the meat industry in the early 70’s. Because of our deep family roots in the butcher industry, deciding to purchase the business seemed like the right thing to do. December 15, 2009, brought lots of change to Garner Abattoir once again. With lots of prayer and effort, I knew I could make my ideas work. My dad had agreed to come to work for us, and the Key Family tenure began. We immediately changed the packaging of the meat, and began marketing our services and products. We brought in the first computer. We changed internal operations. We changed employees. We changed the way we handled the livestock. We changed, and changed, and changed anything that we could see to improve for our customers. In 2013, we added poultry. Yes. We slaughter free range chickens under USDA Inspection now.
Roger’s wife Rita joined the daily operations in December of 2017. Rita is the smiling face of the operation that the on-site clients have grown to love. She brings more than just excellent customer service though, Rita has over 9 years of retail meat experience to add to an already experienced crew. Recently, Roger and Rita have expanded yet again. This time by adding a “fully cooked” program. They’ve added a state of the art smokehouse to make some of the best beef jerky you’ll ever flip a lip over. They’ve also added the ability for their customers to order certain products online. With an aggressive growth plan, Roger and Rita look to take Key’s Family Butcher shop from a local, to a regional and ultimately a national company servicing customers from all over the United States.
One area of growth that we’re passionate about is, since becoming a regional food hub spanning from Oklahoma City to Jonesboro and from Dallas to Branson, we get to focus on our vision of “farm to table”. This movement promotes serving local food in restaurants and cafeterias. One of the reasons this movement is successful is because people are finding it more important to know where their food comes from and exactly what it is they’re eating. Within this movement there needs to be a form of “food traceability”, and that’s exactly what they get with Key’s Family Butcher Shop. Many facilities perform only a portion of the process then ship to the next to continue the process sometimes including multiple facilities throughout multiple states. With our meat, you can rest assured that what you’re eating has been documented all the way back to the very farm that it came from. We process beef, hogs, bison, sheep, goats, poultry and we even do wild game in the fall.
Today, we run like an oiled machine all while maintaining a family atmosphere. We have lots of smiling customers from many states. If we don’t know you when you show up, we will before you leave! We are extremely blessed with good business, excellent employees, and awesome customers. We hope you choose to be a part of it.