SHANKS — So long, Hampshire Meats. Hello, Wayne’s.
Wayne’s Country Fresh Meats moved into Hampshire County Tuesday, closing on a deal to purchase Hampshire Meats from Aaron Cox.
But the deal is more about the back-end operations of Hampshire Meats than having a retail presence here.
“For the last few years we had problems getting cattle butchered,” said Brittney Ayers, part of the Miller family that owns the company. “We’ve been running cattle between slaughterhouses.”
The solution, the Millers decided, was to start processing its own meat again.
“We’ve got to do something or we cease to exist,” she said.
Wayne’s operates 2 groceries that feature their meats, in Keyser and Fort Ashby.
The Shanks storefront will remain open, Ayers said. It will showcase the company’s meats and probably have some deli salads, grab-and-go sandwiches and “some of the Amish stuff we carry in our stores.”
Look for milk and ice to be added to the stock as well.
Wayne’s will keep the meat cutters currently working for Hampshire Meats, Ayers said.
One change coming is that after current contracts are fulfilled, custom orders will no longer be accepted.
Cox, who has operated Hampshire Meats for 9 years, expressed confidence in the sale.
“Our family has known Wayne’s family for decades and we have the utmost confidence that the Miller family and their staff will continue to make a huge impact on this community,” Cox said.
He pointed to the role Hampshire Meats has played under his ownership, thanking his family and the community.
“That support and the support of our amazing employees has allowed us to develop a continuously expanding business, permitting us the opportunity to give back thousands of dollars into this community through 4-H and ag programs, school and sports fundraisers, family support benefits, church auctions as well as a donating to a multitude of other area organizations,” he said.
He urged customers to continue to shop local.
“Again, thanks for allowing us to be of service to you,” Cox said on behalf of his wife, Bonnie, and children Isaac and Addison. o