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Ittel’s Meats in the family for 73 years

Grandpa Ittel’s Meats has been owned and operated by the Ittel family in Howard Lake for 73 years.

The small-town meat market opened July 19, 1940, after it was purchased for $100 by Henry Ittel, current owner Jim Ittel’s father.

It is one of only two USDA-certified meat markets in Wright County, needing the certification due to its national and international business.

“It is probably the most recognized name out of Howard Lake,” Jim said, noting he has customers from all over, including Alaska, who stop in any time they are in town.

Not only can people stop in the local shop to purchase their favorite meat product, they can have it shipped to them, Jim commented.

Grandpa Ittel’s Meats also provides meat for 11 local stores: The Marketplace in Annandale and Cokato; Red Rooster Foods in Dassel; The Country Store in Litchfield; Cashwise in Hutchinson; Glenn’s Supervalu in Winsted; Coborn’s in Delano and Buffalo; Cub Foods in Buffalo; and The Pantry in Sartell.

Throughout the years, Grandpa Ittel’s Meats has won a number of state and regional awards for its products, and remains an award-winning meat market.

Jim is a disabled American vet, who worked with atomics while in the army, he said.

After serving two years in the army, Jim helped his father remodel the meat market before going to meat-cutting school.

Jim then operated and managed meat markets in three PDQ convenience stores in the Twin Cities area, stocking the shelves with Ittel’s meats.

In 1975, Jim decided to move his family back to Howard Lake with a goal of making Ittel’s the most successful meat processing facility in the area.

Today, Grandpa Ittel’s Meats offers gluten-free summer sausage or sticks in jalapeno, blueberry, cranberry, and cheddar flavors, and fully-cooked, ready to eat or heat ribs seasoned with Pork Producers seasoning. They also make fresh potato sausage.

Hormone-free pork is another popular item offered, according to Ittel.

“We also take deer trim,” Ittel said, “and we use a national award-winning recipe.”

Current specials include:

• tri-tip sirloin aged roast, $4.87 lb; and

• boneless tri-tip sirloin aged steak, $5.39 lb.

“People can stop in for free test samples,” Ittel said.

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