Oxford Locker takes meat cutting up a notch
Every town has one. That destination business that puts the community on the map and into the minds of visitors. The one business that people near and far say, “oh yeah — that is where so-and-so is.” Oxford, although an exceptional community, is no exception to this “oh yeah” proclamation.
Kramer bought the Oxford Locker in September 1999 from Cappy and Sue Pinkerton. Tired of working in the day-to-day grind of the corporate world, he wanted to get back to living the small town good life. A decision he has never looked back on. He is totally digging it.
“The people are friendly,” said Kramer. “Just like in any small town, you know everybody.”
He added that it has been nice raising his boys in Oxford because everyone looks out for each other’s kids. And working for yourself is its own reward, Kramer says.
“There are a lot of long hours that go with it, but you still make the final decision and you have to live with your own decisions,” he said.
So much more than a processing plant
When Kramer bought the locker, it was just a meat processing plant offering a few over-the-counter items. He has grown the business to employ 12 people and offers retail meat, cooked products, custom butchering and processing on beef, hogs and deer, sausage, smoked meats, hunting accessories and fire arms. Noon lunches are served and Oxford Locker also features deli sandwiches and 15 types of jerky.
In fall 2013, Kramer bought a new smokehouse which greatly improved the quality of the meats and cheeses in half the time. It is a labor- and energy-saving investment. Kramer uses nothing but the finest blend of hickory wood chips to bring out the natural flavor of his smoked meats and cheeses.
And when some think of the Oxford Locker, first thought is its world famous jerky. The recipes and flavors come from the desires of Kramer’s customers.
“I never base a flavor on what I like anymore because the jerky on the shelf that I don’t particularly like sells really well,” he said.
His customers have unique tastes and opinions on what they want out of a product. The Oxford Locker also boasts the most bodacious bacon, with flavors including pepper bacon and blazing saddles bacon, which uses three kinds of pepper.
The locker prepares pounds upon pounds of flavorful, tender brisket, pulled pork and other fine foods for weddings, graduations and a host of other events.
Taste the love
If you are in the Oxford neighborhood for lunch, the deli sandwiches and broasted chicken are must. You can taste the love they put in the chicken as you tear into the crispy, fall-apart, juicy goodness. Or create an inspiring, innovative sandwich from an array of options behind the deli counter.
“I’ve got great employees here and they know what customer service is,” Kramer said. “We like to treat people well.”
He encourages his people to let him know how they can better serve his customers.
“I like butchering and cutting. I have always had good bosses,” McDonald said with a grin. “If you want good product, or bring your product, you get good quality work. I think the Oxford Locker is a very, very, very good place to go.”
Diversity brings and keeps customers
McDonald said they try to do as good of job as anybody. And Oxford Locker extends that customer service well beyond the typical items found at a meat locker and deli.
“I wanted to get people in the doors, increase foot traffic and give people a reason to come to Oxford,” Kramer said.
So he decided to add guns and ammo after Charlie Ellis with Oxford Motors retired.
“Once you get them in, you have to try to keep them,” Kramer said. “The guns have done that and more
“It has just been a natural fit,” he quipped. “We have so many hunters, ranchers and farmers come in and support us.”
“At the time, I thought bringing the Oxford Locker to Kearney would be a good idea,” Kramer said.
And so far, it hasn’t disappointed. The Oxford Locker-Kearney opened May 2014. This off-the-hook location offers retail meats, brats, cheeses, jerky, and a variety of other items, but not the custom butchering.
Kramer doesn’t do what other lockers do. “We have our own recipe for success,” he said. “They do their thing and I am ok with that.”
The Oxford Locker draws people from all over the Midwest to come taste the goodness.