This story of 50+ years, starts when Bob Filbrandt was in his teens and began cutting meat. He worked for many stores over his lifetime, such as Waits Market in Bangor and Farmer Fridays. He also cut deer in the evenings after he was off work from his regular job. He would load up his cutting board and knife, come to your house, cut your deer and then drive down the road to the next house for another.
During this time, he decided to make a little shop for processing behind his house. He found an old chicken coup, removed it from its foundation, build a new foundation and moved the building down the road to the location where Bob's now sits. In this building, he started cutting beef loins and quarters in the evenings. Until one day, his boss at a local butcher shop at the time., came to him and said, " You cant cut meat at home and work here also". So Bob quit on the spot, came home to Judy (his wife now of 50 years) and said "I just quit, I hope we can do this"!
So the history continues with Bob cutting, wrapping and selling beef loins, quarters and sides of beef with the help of his wife, Judy. And so the family business began. His father Ron, who worked at Bohn Aluminum at the time, would come home with orders from the guys at the shop. Bob also started cutting deer on site and custom processing of farmers' pigs in this new building. So the business was growing and soon after, Bob went to Judy and asked if she thought they could swing an addition for more room?
Soon after that, Bob decided to add Retail space to the business, so yet another addition. With this Bob wanted to do his own smoking for the pigs he was processing and make to salami/summer sausage for the deer hunters instead of having it outsourced. So yes he had to ask Judy if they could do another addition for a smokehouse. Then there was another addition for more room for deer skinning, pig slaughter and another cooler to bring us to 2015. The latest addition was in late 2016, in order to move the all packaging equipment out of the front to expand the retail area and have more room for processing and faster equipment.
Bob has been on the Board of the Michigan Meat Association as well as the AAMP (American Association of Meat Processors) Board. Bob has won numerous awards at the state and national level for his smoked products. Bob has been inducted into the cured meat hall of fame. Bob and Judy received the lifetime achievement award from AAMP for their service in the meat industry. Judy served many years as the secretary for the Michigan Meat Association. Bob has judged in cured meat shows at the state and national levels and made many great contacts over the years that has helped him make some great products.
Judy has also been an essential part of the business, now retired, she has done the books for the entire time, and told Bob and Scott NO a few times when they wanted new equipment or an addition. Wrapped 95% of the meat that has went through Bob's over the years. Judy has been the face of the retail area for many years. Now you can find her occasionally running the checkout and saying you guys need to stock the freezer! (it's cold in there i'm not going in there!) we hear that a lot. Judy has been an essential part of the catering for Bob's. Judy handled all of the ordering for the dry goods, wraped all of the silver wear for the numerous events with some help from her granddaughters, but mostly her (can you see Bob trying to wrap silver wear?). Judy has also been the referee between Scott and Bob when they don't see eye to eye on things ( you know new and old ideas) Oh and don't forget the grandma part! She has watched Lisa, Lydia and Dakota so Scott and Brad could work and not have to be off because of a sick kids.
Bob's oldest son Scott has been in the business most of his life (since age 8) starting at being in the way while Bob was slaughtering pigs, to doing the slaughter himself. Scott did leave for about 10 years and joined the operators union local 324, Then he came back to the business in hopes of taking over the business one day, Scott now runs all of the day to day operations of the business, Including production of the retail products to the slaughter and cutting of the custom animals. Scott is also responsible for most of the new products and does the R and D for Bob's. Scott has been to many classes for making products and food safety. The latest classes include dry sausage making at Iowa State and Seafood HACCP certified.
Scott is also following in Bob's foot steps and is on the AAMP board of directors. AAMP is the national association of meat processors. Scott was the head of the Michigan cured meat show for 10+ years. Scott has won some awards with his creations also. Scott developed Braunschweiger, which he took Grand Champion with at the national level in Wisconsin and a Gold Medal with it in the world, TWICE, through IFFA that is put on by the German Butchers Association. The irony in this is that Scott does not even like Braunschweiger!
This is now with the help of Bob's youngest son Brad that has come back into the business also. Brad held a career as an iron worker for many years but made the switch to come back to Bob's to be closer to his family. Brad handles inventory, bacon production, and can run our VC999 roll stock machine faster than anyone else. Together Scott and Brad now own and operate Bob's.
Then there is Jim that has been with Bob's for 25+ years, which is also Brads father in law. You can catch him and Kenny on Monday's and Thursdays.
Some other faces you will see is Lisa which is Scott's oldest daughter who has been here since she was in her car seat on the bench. Many people will come in and think they need to talk to Bob, Scott or Brad but Lisa knows just about everything and surprises people when they do talk to Bob and he gives the same answer that Lisa just told them. Lisa has been learning the butchering and cutting process for many years and you can find her side by side at the cutting bench with Scott and Brad most days. Another face is Lydia, Scott's youngest daughter. If you come in during the summer she is the one that can help with almost anything you may need and will check you out and even count your cash back to you! Lydia is currently in her Junior year of collage at Grand Valley State University. She is majoring in Business and Marketing Management. Lydia most recently received the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) scholarship.
Out front in our retail area You will be met by Mary. Mary is one of the hardest working people at Bob's! She can help you find anything you may need.
There are still two Filbrandt's that aren't old enough to wield a knife yet, but you may catch them in the shop some still. Brad's daughter Dakoda and on Connor often come out to help.
So as you can see/read about us, we are family and think of our customers as family. A lot of our customers we know by name as they walk in the door, others we will learn your name and greet you by name also.
At this time Scott and Brad own and operate the business and Bob and Judy are mostly retired. Scott and Brad strive to continue with the quality products that you expect from Bob's and also are trying to create new and different flavor combinations. With 2021, it makes 41 years Bob's has been striving to make quality products for you and we hope to do it for many many more!