I saw an opportunity that noboby else was doing at the time, said Joe Vatter, who took a job as a sausage maker at Erlas Packing in Cass City rather than work or move out of Michigan when the states economy sputtered in the early 1980s. Deer hunting, back in the 1980s, wasnt as big as it is now and bow-hunting, for sure, wasnt, but people wanted some sausage made, so I started making summer sausage, Vatter said. hop over to hereVatter said he gained knowledge from the late Henry Kocan, who also worked at Erlas. On his own time, Vatter devised a way to create and season summer sausage from boneless meat, a method that gained favor with customers and earned him the nickname Smokin Joe. It was back in the 1980s when everybody was looking for work, and they were saying Would the last one to leave Michigan please turn out the lights? said Vatter, who later took a job with Maurers Meat Processors Inc. near Ubly and now runs a business specializing in meat made with his recipe. The business, located about 14 miles east of Cass City at 1745 E. Cass City Road, made sausage, meat stick, bratwurst, jerky, bacon and hams from about 30,000 pounds of boneless meat customers brought to the plant. A base of about 250 customers regularly bring boneless meat to Vatters business, where he and relatives burn hickory sawdust to help flavor the meat in three smokehouses. About 10 employees work at the Joes Smokin Recipe plant during Michigans firearms deer season the busiest period for the business.
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His grandfather started the hardware store in town. Full ReportJeanette works at Pride Manufacturing and has been on the 12-member County Board for 22 years, the last seven as chairwoman. It was a scary time and now our school district is thriving, Jeanette said, recalling 2005. We have come so far. Theres a lot to be proud of in our little part of the state. Don and Rachel Egelseer, who live on the Spread Eagle chain of lakes, have been instrumental in downtown redevelopment. Since 2000 the couple have purchased and renovated nearly a dozen buildings in Florence, including the Encore on Central Nostalgic Ballroom constructed in 1937 and now open for weddings and other events, including the firemans ball in February. The couple have spent millions of dollars on the projects after selling their salvage business in 1998 in the Dodge County community of Hustisford. They own the Webb Judge House, a restored Queen Anne Victorian home built in 1883, a bakery, an antiques shop and a former medical building that was converted to senior housing. From 2002 to 2006, they did a complete restoration of an 1899 home on the downtowns east side constructed by lumber baron David Fulmer on the north shore of Fisher Lake.
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