Jones Celebrating 80 Years in Business Saturday

By Jeremy Coumbes on September 12, 2023 at 4:00pm

A three-generation family business is celebrating eight decades of feeding the greater Jacksonville area this weekend. Jones Meat & Locker is celebrating 80 years in business with an open house this Saturday at their facility at 2108 East State Street.

Owners Terry and Marcy Jones purchased the business from Terry’s father in 1992. Terry says it has been a family affair from the very start. “It started in 1943, my grandparents got a little money and decided to buy some hogs.

They raised the hogs and said well let’s just butcher them and cut them up, bring them to town, and try to sell it. They sold the meat and started the business. It was out on Sandusky Road and they were there until sixty-eight. My dad took over about that time, and we bought the place where we’re at on State Street and we’ve been here ever since.”

Terry started working for his father right out of college in 1982, and Marcy has been involved since they got married. She says she worked for the business when their kids were little before eventually going back to work as a graphic designer.

Marcy Jones was serving as the Director of Communications and Marketing for MacMurray College when the school closed in 2020. Since then she has been back with the family business full-time.

Terry is a past President of the Illinois Association of Meat Processors, a recipient of the National FFA Organization Honorary Section, a Jacksonville Agri-Industry Hall of Fame inductee in 2019, and a recipient of the prestigious University of Illinois Sleeter Bull Award.

The Jones are known as strong supporters of the Jacksonville community with both Terry and Marcy having served on many boards and committees over the years.

The focus remains solid on the meat & locker however, especially after the Covid pandemic caused a rush on demand for processing that Terry says is still being felt today.

It has slowed down, but we’re still very busy. People found out and now realize that there’s a difference. We have a higher quality of meat and then other people found out that to buy their meat from a farmer is really much better and they can have it in their freezer to make it more convenient.”

Terry says he doesn’t know how many awards the business has won over the years for its various products, but probably well over 100 over the years. This year Jones Meat & Locker took home the Grand Champion award from the State Fair for its beef jerky.

Last year they brought home eight different awards from the Illinois Association of Meat Processors Convention in Effingham.

Some of those awards along with memorabilia from over the 80 years in business will be on display this Saturday during the 80th Anniversary Celebration. Terry says there will also be the most important item for the celebration- free samples.

If you’re free come on out and see us from ten to twelve on Saturday. We’ll have samples of a few of our varieties of brats, and you can sign up for some door prizes. We’d love to have you come if you have the time.”

Jones Meat & Locker is located at 2108 East State Street off Old State Road, just up from the WLDS/WEAI studios.