RJ’s Meats has been serving the residents of Hudson & the St Croix Valley since 1987. Our meat cutters/sausage makers have over 110 years of combined service behind the meat counter in Hudson.
In 1987 Rick (RJ) & Anne Reams purchased Jim’s Meats from owners Jim & Arlene Schmitz and renamed the business RJ’s Fresh Meats. Rick began working for Jim in 1977 while still in high school as a “clean up” kid and help customers at the full-service meat counter. Jim taught Rick how to cut meat but more importantly a work ethic and belief that there are no short cuts and quality above all else.
In 1982 Rick left Jim’s Meats to serve in the US Air Force. It was while serving in the Air Force that Rick acquired his attention to detail, the nickname RJ, and learned that he really missed cutting meat and in 1986 returned to work at Jim’s Meats.
In 1992 RJ’s purchased its first smokehouse. Prior to this all bacons, hams, ring bologna and any other smoked meats were purchased from vendors. RJ’s goal in adding the smokehouse was to create 4 or 5 smoked items made in house with the attention to quality & detail that Rick demanded of all the meat products he sold.
Rick’s natural curiosity took over, and before long the display case was bursting with flavorful smoked meats of many varieties in addition to the quality fresh meat offerings.
RJ’s believes in supporting the community and the meat industry. In addition to membership in organizations in Hudson RJ’s is also a member of the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors, Minnesota Association of Meat Processors and American Association of Meat Processors.
While in high school Rick & Anne’s sons Anthony, Aaron, and Joe also worked at RJ’s, as did nearly all of Ricks nieces and nephews. Anthony, Joe, and nephew Cody all continue to work at RJ’s. In 1995 Anne left her position at a local bank and joined RJ’s to help lead the business & grocery team.
RJ’s has won hundreds of awards for fresh & cured meat products from the Wisconsin Specialty Meat Championships & American Cured Meats Championships. In addition RJ’s has been awarded 94 Gold, 8 Silver & 7 Bronze Medals for quality.
At the American Cured Meats Championships in 2011 Rick was inducted into the American Cured Meats Hall of Fame. This award was established to recognize individuals that have shown a long standing excellence in the production of cured meats and willingness to share their knowledge with others.
Rick has been asked to speak at numerous meat educational sessions from California to Pennsylvania and many points between. Rick was also asked to speak at the International Butchers Trade Fair in Frankfurt Germany. Rick along with Anthony & Joe have been asked for numerous years to judge meat products at the Minnesota Association of Meat Processors product show.
RJ’s has been honored with many accolades over the years but what is most important to us is that we continue to earn your trust and business! It is a great honor to still see customers shopping at the store that Rick assisted in his youth and today we have the honor of helping their children and grandchildren.
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