Old Hoosier Meats
Old Hoosier Meats [Photographer / Kari Lipscomb]

Savory Servings – Old Hoosier Meats in Middlebury

Old Hoosier Meats has offered fresh-cut and delicious smoked meats, plus side dishes, for decades. Its most recent owners, Glen and Ruth Miller, are celebrating their first-year anniversary of acquiring the long-standing business. The couple have chosen to keep the high-quality products and traditions it is known for, but are slowly adding some ideas of their own.

According to Glen Miller, the century-old building housing Old Hoosier Meats was once the Middlebury High School gym. After a new high school was built in 1936, it stood empty for about 10 years. Around 1950 the Bowman family converted the building into freezer storage lockers.

Typical for the time, families would raise an animal or two, butcher it themselves, and need somewhere to keep the meat frozen. After some 30 years it was owned by Lynford Miller, who eventually sold it to Randy Grewe in 2004. By then, most people had freezers of their own; the practice of storing meat off-site was mostly obsolete. Grewe elected to tear out the compressors and set up the business model that is currently in place.

butchers“We bought it in May of 2023,” Glen Miller says. “It was prompted by a life change. Ruth had been working in the RV industry but was on maternity leave when she found out she had been laid off. My background is in sales, but I grew up processing meat at home and enjoy smoking meat. She thought about catering, but then I saw Randy’s post on Facebook that he was selling the business. So in a way, we went down the alley of what my wife suggested.”

Old Hoosier Meats is known for its catering and carry-out offerings. They are available warm and in returnable roaster pans. Smoked items include pulled pork, beef brisket, baby back ribs, pulled chicken, chicken wings and more. Hot sides offered are smoked mac and cheese, cowboy beans and au gratin potatoes. There are also several salad options, and party favorites such as buffalo chicken dip and queso blanco.

The Millers have carried on Old Hoosier Meats’ beginning-of-the-weekend traditions. Every Thursday after 3:30 p.m., slabs of smoked ribs along with pounds of both buffalo and naked wings are available. On Fridays lunch is offered. A pulled-pork sandwich is standard every week, and a second sandwich is rotated.

The Friday lunches have allowed the Millers to be creative. Customers love the shaved prime rib sandwich with cheese, on a brioche bun. Also in the rotation is a pork belly bite bowl that features smoked pork belly cubes on top of mac and cheese, and a brisket bowl with fried rice smothered in queso blanco. The prices of the sandwiches vary and meal deals that include sides are available.

meat counter
Old Hoosier Meats is located at 101 Wayne Street in Middlebury.

“The fresh meat counter is 12-feet long and our meat cutter, Steve Lay, keeps it looking nice,” Miller says. “There are now only three retail places in Elkhart County that carry good, quality meat such as we offer. We make our own jerky and bacon. People can order smoked hams and turkeys for the holidays; we sold quite a lot of turkeys last Thanksgiving. We also have cheeses and meats such as Lebanon baloney, both the regular and sweet varieties.”

Old Hoosier Meats maintains a website, but the quickest way to see what is being featured or what sandwiches will be offered on a given Friday is to visit its Facebook page. Customers can call ahead to reserve a sandwich, or the racks of ribs and wings offered on Thursday. Reservations for Easter or holiday hams can also be placed over the phone.

“Running this business is a lot like being in a sales job; it’s all about making the customer happy,” Miller says. “I really enjoy it and so does Ruth. We both enjoy the customers. She loves to come in and work. For her it’s not like going into a job, but is instead a fun break.”

Old Hoosier Meats is located at 101 Wayne Street in Middlebury. For more info, call 574-825-2940, visit oldhoosiermeats.com or view them on Facebook.

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