Modern Meat turns 80 in 2013
Owner Calvin Lukan cuts some steaks for a customer behind the counter at Modern Meat.
by Keri Dalman Journal editor
At far right: Calvin Lukan, the current owner of Modern Meat, checks on some of the meat in the cooler in the back of the 80-year-old business.
Even after 80 years, it’s still modern. Modern Meat in Humboldt opened its doors in 1933, owned by the McInnes brothers of Humboldt. It went through a few different owners, and in 1978, it was sold to Mervin Bay, Bill Brecht and Zvonko Hren. In 1992, Glen Dobmeier took over and then sold it to Calvin Lukan and Steve Bodnarchuk in 2007, and in February of this year, Lukan took over sole ownership of one of the oldest businesses in Humboldt. The meat shop is actually still in its original downtown Humboldt location, with original floors and walls. While the sawdust on the floor is gone, they still use butcher blocks to cut and slice the meat, Lukan noted. They tried plastic for a while, but ended up going back to the tried and true. The building has seen some changes over the years — an addition on the back added a smokehouse, freezer and cooler — but the name and heart of the business have stayed
photos by Keri Dalman
the same. They are a full service meat business, Lukan indicated. They cut and wrap the meat, make 30 different kinds of sausage, and offer deli meats and cheeses. “We try to keep as much local as we can,” he said. Even the spices they sell he tries to source from within the local area or Saskatchewan. It is getting harder to find local options, he noted — especially finished animals, and of those, especially pigs. “We buy our own beef and pork locally, and order some in to fill the gaps,” he said. And there’s a comfort in that, he feels, for his customers. It’s a local shop, with local food, right down to the chickens and turkeys they buy from area Hutterite colonies. Lukan got into the meat business after he graduated
from high school in his hometown of Middle Lake. He stayed in the business because of the people he got to meet. “We have a loyal customer base,” he said. “You get to know the history of everyone (as they have) been coming in forever.” Once you get into the business, he warned, you get hooked on it. There have been a few changes in the meat business over the past 80 years. In the 1970s, the company actually did the butchering for Fuhrman’s in Saskatoon, Lukan said. Now the hoof is on the other foot, so-to-speak, and Modern Meat no longer operates an abattoir. As of January 2013, they contract out their butchering. Today, they offer a lot more ready-to-serve options, Lukan said. For instance, they just recently
added ready-to-cook pizzas. In the past, frequently customers would order a whole side of beef and actually cut it up themselves. Now, people are strapped for time, and they are looking for meat that’s already prepared somewhat, for the convenience factor. And while Lukan learned to do everything in the shop by hand, they don’t do that anymore. “We have machines to help,” he said. They don’t cut all the meat up with a cleaver anymore, “unless you feel like venting,” he laughed. The business runs like a well-oiled machine — customers come in, place their order, and it’s cut and wrapped up while they watch. They haven’t really been affected by downturns in the economy, or
Congratulations Modern Meats on your 80 Year Milestone!
Congratulations! Congratulations to Modern Meats for helping to make the Humboldt Region a great place to Live, Work & Invest!
CONGRATULATIONS on 80 years of success!
Keep up the great food!
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Congratulates Modern Meats on their 80th Anniversary!
Congratulations on your 80th Anniversary!
Modern Meats on 80 Years of Success!
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changes in diets, Lukan noted. “Everyone needs to eat,” he smiled. He does have some vegetarian clients, he added with a grin — they come in for the ice cream. “So there’s something for everybody,” he laughed. They actually have clients in the United States, he said, who get their meat processed at their shop, and they have buyers based in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba as well. Things do get busier for them around hunting season, he noted, when hunters bring in their meat de-boned and they process it. “We do it all separate,” he said of each animal, so each hunter gets back the animal he or she brought in. And holidays are busy. At Christmas this past year, they made 500 lbs. of sausage per week, he said. In such a German community, they do offer things like Oktoberfest sausage, smokies and summer sausage, which are culturally popular. But Lukan has also added Boerewors sausage, a South African farmer sausage made with coriander and vinegar, to his menu on the request of a local doctor, from whom he got the recipe. In the future, Lukan sees his business added in more convenience foods, and perhaps some new sauces.
tHe beSt in tHe yearS to coMe!
Here’s to many more years!
Congratulations Modern Meats from
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Congratulations Modern Meats!
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Congratulations on 80 Years!
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All the best on your 80th Anniversary!
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Modern Meats 306.682.2561 | 535 Main Street | Box 970 | Humboldt, SK | www.humboldtjournal.ca
Modern Meats on 80 Years of Business!
From the Management and Staff at Humboldt Home Hardware