By Deb Hadachek Telescope News
From banking to Boeing to butchers.
Brothers Luke Hubert and Mark Hubert plan to start the next seasons of their lives this fall at a new meat processing plant in Belleville. The business will be located in a former veterinary clinic on the south edge of Belleville on US81 Highway.
The Huberts hope to begin their venture with deer processing later this year.
“There are not a lot of processors who take deer, and that is huge here,” said Luke of their startup plan.
“Once we understand the custom processing side of the business (for beef and pork), we plan to go to the retail side, and become federally inspected,” Luke Hubert told Republic County Commissioners Monday.
Luke was employed for many years as manager of Citizens National Bank in Belleville. Mark is an industrial engineer who recently retired from Boeing Company in St. Louis. The men said their parents, Leo and Susan, recently moved to the community, and Mark said his son and two other young people will also move to Belleville once the plant is operational.
The Huberts have a contract with an individual who has 30 years experience in the processing industries who will work alongside them for six months to 12 months. The Huberts contracted with BG Engineering, Manhattan, to design the facility.
Luke said the business will open with five employees, but could grow to up to 15 as the business expands.
“We’ll size the plant for 20-25 head of beef a week, or 20-30 head of hogs a week,” said Luke. “The building is a perfect size and there is lots of room to grow. “We have some of the best beef and best producers here in the nation.”
The ultimate size of the plant will depend on engineers’ recommendations to remove wastewater from processing, they said.
Demand for local meat processors spiked during Covid-19 shutdowns, and because of a fire that destroyed the Clay Center locker plant. Some livestock producers and consumers booked processing dates months to a year in advance with processors in the region.
Luke Hubert said their ultimate goal is a retail meat counter that will allow customers to select cuts of meat.
Pre-approve bowling alley
Commissioners also pre-approved a $45,000 loan from the Republic County Revolving Loan Fund for Tuxie’s 10 Pins LLC, a bowling alley project planned by Skyler and Ashley Tuxhorn in the former Belleville Bowl on the corner of 19th and M ST in Belleville.
The Tuxhorns are completing documentation and business classes required by the RCD Committee before loan proceeds will be distributed, RCD Committee member Mikel Hadachek and secretary Kay Shoemaker told commissioners.