Our story begins in June of 1960, when Earl L. Edmonson started a business called Central Food Service Inc.
He purchased Cobb's Locker Plant, located at 116 Cherry Street in Suffolk, Virginia. They offered lockers for folks to store their food, sold wholesale & retail meats and provisions, as well as running a Freezer Food Plan. Central Food Service Inc. gained attention and popularity, soon boasting a respectable customer base, a full staff of salesmen and numerous delivery trucks. Earl and his employees soon found themselves working long days, night shifts and even extending hours to incorporate a second shift as the company grew.
Earl and his wife, Ernestine, started a family to grow with their business. The couple raised two girls and a boy; Laura, Janice and Richard. Although it was hard work, the business often brought the family together as something that everyone shared. At some point in their lives, all of Earl's children and his wife worked at Central. After high school, Richard began working for the company full time.
In 1972, things changed for Central. The State Highway Department needed to build an overpass directly over the top of the Cherry Street location, and Earl figured it was a sign. He sold the Central building and purchased Meixel's Meats shortly afterwards.
As far as the records show, meat has been sold from this location continuously, as far back as 1935.
There had been industry innovations since the 30's and Earl lost no time in updating the new space by adding on a second building structure, walk-in freezer, a cooler, and finally office and retail areas. The tried and true came along for the move as well; all of the employees, equipment and merchandise. The new location opened for business in June of 1972, dubbed Central Meats, and has remained in that same spot to this day.
In 1990 Central Meats expanded to include Almost Catered, a successful foray into events and gatherings. This prosperity is due to the Central Meats mission, unchanged since the Cherry Street days, which is to always offer the best quality at a lower price than the competitor, and to provide superior customer service at all times.
Thank you for your patronage of Central Meats, a Hampton Roads hallmark. We appreciate your business and we look forward to seeing your smiling face browsing our meat selection.
Nobody leaves empty-handed, so come on down if you've never been. We've got a free pound of sausage for you - because we know you'll be back after you taste it.
See you soon!