Saginaw correctional facility opens meat store
The biggest hits so far are the beef sticks and smoked Polish sausage, said Matt Wrazidlo, Northeast Regional Corrections Center head butcher.
SAGINAW — There’s a new meat store in town.
The Northeast Regional Corrections Center has opened its meat processing retail counter, where folks can buy beef, pork, poultry, sausage and more. All products have been cut and prepared at 6102 Abrahamson Road.
NERCC is a 136-bed minimum/medium-security facility on a working farm, where residents can learn job training in animal husbandry, carpentry, food service, mechanics and maintenance.
The retail store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday until May 1, when the store expands its operation from Monday through Saturday. It offers smoked ham, smoked jerky, smoked chicken, homemade pastrami, pepperoni sticks and corned beef.
According to head butcher Matt Wrazidlo, the store’s biggest hits so far are the beef sticks and smoked Polish sausage.
The meat store opening follows the fall ribbon-cutting of NERCC’s meat processing facility, where Wrazidlo oversees and teaches up to eight residents the proper way to dismantle beef, inspect for wholesomeness, deboning and more.
The facility’s new equipment offers a leg up for residents to know what a true commercial operation looks like.
Wrazidlo reported four inmates have moved on from working in the meat processing plant to securing jobs after release from the correctional facility.
The state Legislature authorized funds for the meat processing plant through bonding bills in 2015, 2017 and 2020. NERCC acquired permits from the USDA and Minnesota Department of Agriculture, among others, to open the retail counter.
There’s a need in northern Minnesota for a USDA-approved processing facility, Kathy Lionberger, NERCC division director, told the News Tribune in September.