Bill Sloan and his family were honored during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of their company, Swiss Meat & Sausage Company, on Saturday, May 18, with a declaration issued by Mo. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. The declaration was presented to the Sloan family by State Rep. Aaron Griesheimer (D-61). Before the presentation, the group was given a brief history of the business.
Swiss Meat & Sausage Company's original structure was built during the summer of 1969 by Kopp Brothers Construction Company from Hermann. Copies of paid receipts show they charged $3 an hour for their services constructing the original 24 x 48 block building.
Bill Sloan and Leroy Epple, Sloan’s partner at the time, opened the doors for business just a few weeks before deer season in October 1969. Epple worked the slaughter floor, while Sloan, an experienced retail meat cutter, cut and packaged beef and pork. They cured and smoked hams and bacon and made sausage for their customers who brought their animals in for processing.
Word of their smoked meat and sausage products spread throughout the area, as customers came to buy their sausage, bacon, hams and other fresh cuts of meat.
Bill Sloan realized the need to add a store front where they could display their meat and sausage products for the general consumer. It was at this point in time that he purchased Epple’s half of the business. Along with his late wife, Margie, the Sloans became the sole owners of Swiss Processing Plant Inc., when, in 1972, the expansion was completed. Bill, Margie and their five children, most of whom were into their teen years by now, all worked part-time in the business, along with full time employees Leroy Epple, Linus LaBoube and Ardene Schoening.
Sloan developed new techniques for curing, cooking and smoking whole hogs, which then led to a catering service. As the years progressed, the smokehouse operation increased in size, capacity and technology. Freezer and cooler additions followed, with the latest cooler addition installed last year.
Sloan’s sausage recipes and his curing and smoking techniques for hams, bacon, and more have earned Swiss Meat hundreds of awards.
Today, Swiss Meat recipes are sold under hundreds of different private label names, which includes Circle B Ranch, Schneider Farms, Newman Farms, Mosefund Farm, and many more. Their brats were named “the Official Bratwurst of MIZZOU” and their sausages are sold at area Dierbergs or Woods Supermarkets.
Bill Sloan is proud of the accomplishments in their 50-year history.
He said, “Most successful businesses need three things to succeed." “Anyone can start a business, but to succeed, you need people—dedicated people, with a passion to produce quality products. After you have developed good products, you need great customer service skills to communicate, educate and please your customers."