In 1912 at the age of 14 years old...

John Leyen got his first job as a delivery boy for Wagner Brothers Meat Market. In 1939 John had worked his way up and bought in as a partner. The name changed to “Wagner and Leyen Meat Market”. At that time, they used ice blocks to keep the meat cold. John’s son, Charles “Skip” Leyen, grew up working at the meat market. In the 1950s Skip bought into the business and it became “Leyen and Son Meats”.

Many customers remember how John and Skip always had a slice of bologna on hand as a treat for all the children that came into the shop. John worked hard to train Skip in the skill and artistry of custom cutting meat and ensuring that he knew all the family recipes and tricks of the trade. Years later, Skip continued the tradition by training his own sons, Mark and Tim.

In his 20s Skip saw a market for deer processing, but his father was hesitant.

So Skip would open up the shop after hours to process deer. In the 90s one-stop shopping at grocery stores hurt local shops like Leyen and Son Meats.

 

So Skip decided to close down his retail shop and just continue to work semi-retired in deer processing. Skip’s sons continued working at the shop through college. After graduating, his son, Mark, began working in youth ministry but continued working with his dad on the side, especially during deer season.

Skip decided it was time to retire and offered the family business to Mark. After much prayer, Mark sensed God leading him to take over the business and restore it to the full-service butcher shop it had once been.

 

With a passion to continue his family’s tradition of providing the best quality, local meats, Mark realized the 110-year-old facility needed major renovations. So he got to work. In March 2016, the butcher shop reopened with Mark bringing 3 generations of experience into today’s marketplace.

844 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids MI 49504

(616) 454-3057

leyenandson@gmail.com

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