The Hartford plant of E.E. Mucke & Sons will close Friday, two weeks after the purchase of 93-year-old family business was finalized by a Massachusetts company.
The Main Street property was acquired as part of the purchase by Rachael’s Food Corp. of Chicopee, Mass. According to city records, the 12,000-square foot plant where hot dogs, kielbasa and delicatessen meats were produced for decades, sold for $200,000.
There’s not much left to close up at the plant because all production has already moved to the Grote & Weigel plant in Bloomfield, another local meat processor bought by Rachael’s this year.
Sales operations are all that remain in Hartford and those, too, are now being consolidated in Bloomfield, Adam Kramer, division president for Mucke’s and Grote & Weigel, told me today.
Consolidation made sense, Kramer said, because there was plenty of unused space at the Granby Street plant, and there still remains “a lot of room to grow.”
Kramer said Rachael’s now plans to sell the Mucke’s building.
Despite the consolidation, the Mucke’s and Grote & Weigel names will remain as will the taste of their products, Kramer said.
“We are committed to keeping both brands and formulas exactly the same,” Kramer told me.
Kramer declined to say how much Rachael’s paid for Mucke’s or how much it has invested in the Bloomfield plant.
As independent companies, Grote & Weigel and Mucke’s struggled in the weak economy, some customers opting to buy lower-priced meats.
All 15 Mucke employees kept their jobs. Ernest Mucke III has joined the company as joined the company as vice president of operations for Grote & Weigel, Kramer told me.
The former owner of Grote & Weigel has left the company, Kramer said. Michael Greiner had agreed to stay on for as much as year to smooth the transition, but that has now been completed, Kramer said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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