Copey’s Butcher Shop in Medway marks 70 years in business

Copey’s often posts encouraging messages on their sign like this as the pandemic began back in March. Pam Cottrel/Contributor

Credit: Pam Cottrel/Contributor

Credit: Pam Cottrel/Contributor

That pesky pandemic wasn’t able to stop the celebration.

For 70 years Copey’s Butcher Shop has been serving the community from its 10988 Gerlaugh Road location.

Howard and Marjorie Copenhefer’s first butcher shop was in a small barn that stood near where the current store now stands at the corner of Gerlaugh and Lake Roads in Medway. From the beginning the shop has processed local livestock, steers, pigs, goats or lambs grown on nearby farms and it still does.

In addition to custom meat processing, they also sold meat to the public. Over the last 70 years the size of the meat display case has grown from six feet long in the first store to 44 feet of glass today.

One of the unique features about Copey’s meat processing is that they have a smokehouse and prepare their own bacon, hams, sausage, roast beef, and lunch meats.

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The second and third generations of the family are now in charge. Howard and Marjorie’s daughter Margene (Marte) Struewing and her daughter Missie Janow and son-in-law Mike Janow have taken the business to new levels. Mike is in charge of the meat processing operation.

Keeping services and products up to date while maintaining the quality of the meat and groceries they sell keeps them all busy.

All the baking and deli salad preparation is done on site. Copey’s potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, broccoli salad, etc have been local favorites for years. Their homemade pies, baked goods, and cinnamon rolls are loved by many. Their mush, pon haus, and liver pudding are popular in the fall. In the freezer a big variety of meats and vegetables meet shopper’s needs. And Copey’s brats are always in demand.

There were big plans for the 70th Anniversary, but when the virus from China reached our area, Copey’s was quick to adapt. The number of people in the store at one time is now limited, masks are worn, and when there is an outside line Copey’s makes sure the customers are social distancing. They even put up canopies when the weather was sweltering.

Curbside pick up telephone orders is also available now.

When a shortage of meat happened at major grocery chains, Copey’s was able to fill the gap.

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“It’s been hectic,” said Marte Struewing. “Hectic.”

She explained that they have had to adjust their schedules because of the increased demand and the way that Covid-19 changed the county fairs.

Copey’s has always worked with the 4-H members. Every year around fair time they post a long row of letters from 4-H members along their 44 feet of display case. This year because of the pandemic they have not been able to do as much as they like. They are genuinely hoping that next year will be back to normal.

Throughout the summer the Copey’s crew has been trying to keep everyone’s spirits up with special themed costume days on Saturday. They have tied to keep a positive spirit throughout the pandemic and still celebrate their anniversary year.

Copey’s bright yellow 70th Anniversary grocery totes are available. There is an Anniversary Meat bundle deal that is still available with a variety of beef, chicken, and pork cuts. A special dinner bundle also comes in the yellow tote.

Andy Kittles won the contest to design the Copey’s 70th Anniversary T-shirt and received a new gas grill.

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According to Marte, customers can drop their name in a jar for a big drawing Sept. 26. And the anniversary recipe book should be available soon.

Since the actual 70th Anniversary, Septe. 28, is on a Monday and they will be closed as usual, the celebration will take place on Friday and Saturday Sept. 25 and 26.

Marte said that they think often of her parents Howard and Marjorie and how hard they worked to make Copey’s an important part of the western Clark County community. I imagine the Copenhefers would be proud of the way the next generations have continued their good work and adapted to the pandemic challenges.

Best Wishes to them all on their 70th Anniversary.

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