LAGRANGE, IN -- In the last several years, there has been an increased interest in locally grown foods that are available for the consumers. While fruits and vegetables are usually the items thought of, meats have been taking more of the spotlight as the words “free-range” and “grass-fed” are being used to describe the ways the products are being raised.
Mishler’s Packing Co. has been providing fresh beef and pork for the northern Indiana area for almost 70 years and they are continuing to offer locally raised meats while adding variety to their shelves.
“In 1923, my father Homer bought a building for custom meat butchering for winter work,” Paul Mishler said. “In the summer, he did carpentry work.”
After a few years of doing business, Homer was informed that he needed to have refrigeration to continue doing the butchering in that location. He decided to build in LaGrange, IN, and that building is still being appreciated for Mishler’s.
Homer and son Paul opened the ‘new’ location in 1948. Though Homer passed away in 1957, Paul continued to run the company and developed new products that have appealed to consumers for many years. Paul created the Mishler Pork Burger Pattie in the early 1960s and it is still a popular product for the company. The staff uses the original recipe to create the patties that can be enjoyed as a breakfast meat or on a bun for sandwich lovers.
In 2008, after running the company for 60 years, Paul sold the business to longtime employee, Mike Monson. “Mike was a 25 year employee at that time,” Paul said. “We have had a couple employees who have worked for us for 40-50 years.” Monson’s family has joined in as his two sons, Dennis and Jonathan, have picked up the moniker “Pork Burger Brothers.” They are known for sharing their tips on grilling the meat patties.
Another favorite at the shop are the ring bolognas. All beef, original, or garlic flavors are available in this meat product developed by Homer. “We continued to try new things,” Paul said. “And they still are.”
Among the new offerings is a spicier version of the pork patties. The original recipe was given a little kick with the addition of jalapeno peppers and cheese providing something for those who enjoy hotter meats. They have also removed the MSG from their products.
In 2015, a Michigan location was opened in Sturgis and pork burgers are their exclusive offering.
For those who are used to the plain white boxes that the meats are sold in, the new boxes are colorful and share a history of the company. The new motto for the pork patties has provided some fodder for discussion as to whether they are for breakfast or otherwise: “Some people call ‘em BURGERS, some call ‘em PATTIES…but everybody calls ‘em DELICIOUS!” May the discussion continue for another 60 years!