LEBANON, Ind. -- Less than a year ago, three friends born and raised in Boone County joined forces to purchase a butcher shop.
St. Adrian Meats and Sausage, located at 110 W. Washington Street-- right on Lebanon’s town square-- was originally opened back in 2014 under different ownership.
Here, under the watchful eye of these local farmers, customers always know exactly where and who their meat is coming from.
That's because these guys do it all themselves--literally---from their farm to your table.
“We go through all the trouble of raising these animals to this point, so we might as well take it all the way to the end product,” said owner Josh Fedor. “So about everything you see in the cases started from scratch.’
Fedor and his business partners—Garrett Kelly and Andrew Wilhoite— have known each other for decades. And they are certainly no strangers to the agriculture scene in Boone County.
“All of us have raised livestock in the county here most of our lives…We all showed in 4-H together here and that’s kind of how we got started with this,” Fedor explained.
Even before purchasing St. Adrian, Fedor was already known by friends and other locals as a go-to person for getting local farm-raised meat.
“I’ve always raised livestock and sold beef and swine for freezers and so forth, but this [venture] is just taking it to the very next level,” he said.
Together, Fedor, Kelly and Wilhoite take great pride in their dedication to staying local by raising most of the animals themselves on a farm just a few miles from the St. Adrian shop.
“We’re bringing in the calves ourselves—or piglets—and raising them all the way to finish…we have control over what they’re eating, how they’re fed, how they’re managed. With minimal antibiotics in them,” said Fedor. “Just doing it the way it used to be done and trying to keep it as local as possible... Keep the food mileage down as much as possible.”
When it comes to beef in particular, Fedor says it’s a long process: from raising the calf to the dry-aging process (which lasts 14 days), all the way to selling the final product to customers.
“You’re looking at two years from start to finish,” he said. “So there’s a great sense of pride in seeing people walk out the door knowing that we raised that animal all the way through.”
Long before the sale itself, however, there’s the behind-the-scenes work that takes place between the farm and the packaged products on the shelves.
“We do everything in here ourselves,” Fedor explained. “You’ll see our cut room, you’ll see where we make our sausages, our sausage stuffer and when we brine products and our smokehouse”
Customers can even look through a glass window into the cut room, and observe the process of them doing everything from tenderizing pork tenderloin to making sausage.
When it comes to sausage, St. Adrian offers everything from traditional breakfast sausage, sweet Italian style and chorizo, to more creative and truly unique options.
“I get creative when it comes to making sausages and most of them turn out pretty good,” Fedor said. “We have a chili cheese sausage that’s amazing [and a] pork apple that people love…One I came up with last week was a smoked cheddar that just sold out within a week or so.”
In the shop's glass cases you’ll also find things like brisket, multiple varieties of bacon, andouille, ground beef, pork and even goat, as well as deli ham, coffee roasted pork chops, breaded tenderloin, meatballs, steak and much more.
With so many options, customers love the fact that they always have some samples out for folks to try.
Or, just ask the experts behind the counter.
So, what’s Fedor’s personal favorite?
“Smoked chops!” he exclaimed, without hesitation. “Smoked chop... It’s a pretty simple answer. It’s my favorite. I think it’s a customer favorite as well.”
Aside from the meats, you’ll also find plenty of other locally-sourced items to help enhance your purchase, like seasonings and barbecue sauce from Shoups Seasoning in Frankfort, honey from RJ Honey in Lebanon and Eagle Creek Apiary in Sheridan, as well as sauces from Yogi Bear Farms.
Four Things You Need to Know About St. Adrian Meats and Sausage:
- Owners Josh Fedor, Garrett Kelly and Andrew Wilhoite are all born and raised in Boone County. They actually met many years ago when they were showing livestock together in 4-H. They all still work full time on farms or in the farming industry, but they decided to take their passion one step further when they bought St. Adrian Meats and Sausage last spring.
- As local farmers themselves, the owners of St. Adrian are dedicated to keeping things fresh and local. They raise most of the meat themselves on a farm just a few miles from the shop. Fedor provides a formulated feeding program, making it possible for them to control the animals' diet and giving them the ability to stand behind their products because they know exactly what is in them and how the animals are raised.
- Through the week, Fedor and his business partners still work in farming full-time, so it’s a real balancing act but he says it gives them all a great sense of community pride. But it does somewhat limit their weekly hours. St. Adrian Meats and Sausage is open Fridays from 12-6pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm.
- There is always a wide variety of meats and sausages in store, but customers can always give them a call for any special orders or cuts of meat and St. Adrian can have it ready for pickup with a couple days advance notice.
For more information about St. Adrian Meats and Sausage, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook.
While in Lebanon, check out these other local hot spots located just minutes from St. Adrian Meats and Sausage: