A well-known Stanhope business is now back up and running, open for business in the same location. Ahmad Manci is the new owner of the Stanhope Locker, where the trademark beef jerky is already available, along with summer sausage, ring bologna, and beef sticks.
According to Manci, the meat products that enjoy a wide reputation are made "with the same original recipes, and we make it every day."
Another service that won't change at the locker is processing meat. Already since Manci opened for business several weeks ago they have butchered seven cattle and a few sheep. While the locker will no longer be working with or selling pork, they will butcher beef, goat, and sheep, and will process deer. Manci says he has the space and the facilities-including two large coolers and two large freezers--to butcher meat quickly and will now be able to process more sheep and beef.
Taking a break from cutting and wrapping meat are current employees (from left) Tau Vinchattle, Yusef Manci, Nila Zanker, Ray Johnson, and owner Ahmad Manci.
"When people bring an animal to us to be butchered, they will get all of their own meat back. We will record the hanging weight and what it will produce," he noted. Beef that's for sale at the locker will now be farm raised locally, another change that Manci sees as important to many people.
Although he is new to the Stanhope business community, Manci is no stranger to running a food business, as he has done in Ames since 1987. His wife and family members will continue to operate that small international grocery store. A native of Jordan, Manci has lived in Ames since 1978, so he considers Iowa home. "I grew up by the Dead Sea, and if anyone had told me that I would go from there to Stanhope, Iowa, I would have called them a liar," he says with a hearty laugh. "It's a very long way from the Dead Sea to Stanhope."
As for why he wants to operate another business, "I didn't know why this locker should be closed, as old as it is," Manci said. "The locker is a big part of the community."
Manci is looking at expanding on that community, as his plans are to try to meet the demand of the Halal market, which is similar to kosher. "There are many international students at ISU from countries like Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and Africa, and they all want their meat," he pointed out. "They will just come here to get it."
Hours have changed slightly at the Stanhope Locker, which is now open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
After putting in several weeks of labor to get things ready at this new venture, Manci is just glad to be open for business and meeting former and new customers. "I want to be here to say hello to people and to say hello when they bring in their beef to be butchered," he commented. "We want to encourage people to come and do business with us and try us. We promise people will be happy."