WADENA-- Tony Harford, owner of Tony's Wadena Locker, won an award for his ring bologna at this year’s Iowa Meat Processors Meat Convention and Trade Show in Ames.
This was the 80th-anniversary of the popular meat convention, which hosts Quad state “Best of the Midwest” cured meats. The event was held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center at Ames, where members share social experiences and learn from one another. The Association is run by independent meat processors so members benefit through education and communication. Harford has been in business since October 1, 2000. When the previous owner decided to sell Wadena Locker, Harford thought it was a good opportunity to buy the locker and go into business for himself. He jokingly admits that he is not his own boss, and that all of his customers are now, in fact, his boss.
When Tony first bought the business, he admits that he knew very little about custom butchering and processing of meat, but through the help of the previous owner and short courses offered at the Iowa Meat Processors Meat Convention, he learned fast! Harford has won many previous awards as well. Some which include Grand Champion Jerky, (which he has won twice before), and his own Sandwich Salami. When asked what makes his business a success, Harford says, “Hard work, determination, teamwork, and friendly customer service are a must! You have to have good employees and teamwork in order to do a good job for your customers,” Harford says. “You have to get along with your customers as well as your employees."
He says that he has a good crew and credits that to being a family oriented business. As of now, Harford has four full-time employees and two part-time team members as well. He adds that a friendly face and a bit of humor also help to keep his customers coming back. His customers are not just clientele, but friends too. When asked how long he will continue to stay in business, he says that he will be around as long as his body will allow it.
To learn more about Tony’s Wadena Locker, you can go to Facebook or call at (563)774-2725. Better yet? Stop in and try out his Grand Champion Ring Bologna and other great products. Wadena Locker boasts a full retail list of not only meat, but cheese as well.