Country Village Meats welcomes new owners

Michael Vaessen, left, Sublette village president, presents a U.S. flag to Paul Darrow and Laurie Winkler Darrow, who recently purchased Country Village Meats. Photo submitted

SUBLETTE — Country Village Meats entered its latest phase when a new family purchased the longstanding Sublette business. Paul and Laurie Darrow bought the business from Eddie Morrissey and Dale Leffelman on Nov. 28.

What attracted Paul and Laurie to the business is the role Country Village Meats serves in the community and its quality products. From their first visit to the business, the warm welcome of the employees and the detailed descriptions about the wide-ranging products grabbed their attention. Then later tasting the products they knew they found meats they wanted to sell.

Local farmers bring their cattle, hogs, sheep and goats to be slaughtered on site under state inspection, a service Darrows will continue. Providing this resource is what makes Country Village Meats a rarity in northern Illinois meat markets. Depending on the day of the week visitors can watch staff cut halves of beef or pork to customers specifications. On smoking days smells of ham, bacon, sausages or snack sticks greet customers from the state-of-the-art smokehouse. 

During the Amboy Christmas walk the Darrows sampled sausages and snack sticks at the Amboy Food & Liquor. 

“People shared with us which snack stick is their favorite. Several parents told us each time they visit their college sons or daughters they were instructed to bring a package of their favorite Country Village Meat stick,” said Paul. 

“We’re fortunate to inherit the recipes and instructions from a master sausagemaker like Dale Leffelman,” added Laurie.

Laurie and Paul will continue to offer all the butcher shop services and products. Quality ingredients and meats with flavorful recipes is the tradition Darrows are happy to provide. Country Village Meats still will be sold in area stores and at the shop in Sublette.

“We are excited to become part of the community and look forward to getting to know everyone,” said Paul. 

He added, “we’ve been given warm welcomes and received help from so many people, it’s rewarding to come to work each day.”

The butcher shop began with Howard Leffelman when he bought several area shops and lockers, He moved to its current location in 1954 and operated it with his son, Gerald. In 1974 the Shrock family bought it. Then in 1995 Morrissey and Leffelman purchased it and renamed it Country Village Meats.


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