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Jennings Premium Meats to close retail location, focus on wholesale

After nearly 70 years, the Jennings family meat market on East Broadway in New Franklin will close its doors Jan. 29.

Jennings Premium Meats originally opened as a butcher shop in 1954 before expanding to a retail meat market in 1968. The store has been run by three generations of Jennings.

In a November Facebook post that garnered over 200 comments, Jason Jennings said a stronger focus on wholesale processing was the main reason for the closure.

This new direction will focus on processing meat and shipping to other companies. However, the company will continue to sell its Pop’s Snack Sticks on its website and at some Break Time locations.

With the change being important to many community members, Jason Jennings took the closure’s announcement to thank the patrons of his family’s business.

“To all of you who have supported us over the years, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Jennings wrote. “Thank you for being great customers and friends.”

Miles Bair, a customer of 20 years, said Jennings is just one of several closures in the area over the past few years that has made it difficult to find locally sourced products outside of the Columbia Farmers Market.

“It’s going to be kind of a loss,” Bair said of the Jennings closure. “I know to New Franklin, that’s a major business.”

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.