MELROSE, Minn. — During a time when consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it is raised, a pair of Minnesota brothers are dedicated to helping consumers along the way.
Adam Borgerding, a Padua, Minn., native, stumbled upon a newspaper advertisement for a meat market. Borgerding had been on the hunt for a way to stay close to his roots — his parents’ dairy-beef farm — and this meat market gave him a unique opportunity to do just that.
“Adam always says our goal is to put the trust back into the butcher, and that is exactly what we are trying to do here,” said Lee Borgerding, younger brother of Adam and acting manager of Brüders Butcher.
In February 2019, Melrose City Meat Market became Brüders Butcher, with Adam Borgerding as the sole owner. Borgerding settled on the name Brüders Butcher — which means 'brothers' in German — to not only pay tribute to his German heritage, but the city of Melrose’s German heritage as well.
Brüders Butcher is a family owned meat market that focuses on beef and pork products. The beef that is sold at their market comes directly from their family farm, located in Stearns County.
Keeping a dream alive
Gaebel promised to run the market for as long as she could, protecting George’s dream.
“I made a vow to myself that I would keep this business going. This was his dream,” she said.
After putting the meat market up for sale, Gaebel received a few offers. But, none of them felt right. That was until the Borgerding brothers made their way to her market.
“These wonderful gentlemen, I am so glad I waited for them. They just felt right. They are truly awesome,” she said.
“Our blood and smoked sausage is definitely one of our best sellers, it was important to us to keep what people knew and enjoyed,” Adam said.
A family affair
The Borgerdings pride themselves on using high quality beef — beef that just so happens to come from the Borgerdings family farm.
The family takes pride in giving the herd no growth hormones or vaccines. They believe that increases the overall quality of their products. They hope to venture toward organic in the future.
The younger of the Borgerding brothers runs the day-to-day operations of the market. As a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in ag business and ag systems management, Lee Borgerding said butchering presented quite the learning curve.
However, that learning curve certainly did not impact the success of their business. The brothers are now building their second location in Breckenridge, Minn., with hopes to have a location in the Fargo/Moorhead area as well.
Ben Borgerding, brother to Adam and Lee, also works in the market, making it a family affair. Their parents, Marvin and Ginny, are extremely supportive of their new business venture.
“We built it during a drought year. People told us we were crazy,” Marvin Borgerding said.
While they did have around 60 dairy cows at one time, they have since cut down to 30. “I always tell Ginny that I sold my half,” he said.
After Marvin suffered a knee injury last winter, Ginny has been the primary milker. While she enjoys it, the family has decided it is time to transition to all beef cattle. In addition, the family hopes to have their own USDA-inspected facility where they can slaughter cattle right on their own farm. This would cut down on the cost and time for transportation as well as cutting out the middleman.
As Marvin and Ginny get older, the process of transitioning the farm to their children has begun. They could not be happier that their children have the desire to continue their legacy.
In the future, the Borgerding brothers hope their meat markets’ demands will outgrow their own herd. They plan to hire families and small farms to raise good cattle to their high standards, ultimately, providing reassurance that consumers can put the trust back in the butcher.