E.W. Grobbel has purchased the former Alexander & Hornung (Perdue Premium Meat Company) property on Stephens Road in St. Clair Shores and will use it for processing.

E.W. Grobbel has purchased the former Alexander & Hornung (Perdue Premium Meat Company) property on Stephens Road in St. Clair Shores and will use it for processing.

Photo by Alyssa Ochss

E.W. Grobbel purchases St. Clair Shores facility

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 26, 2024


ST. CLAIR SHORES — E.W. Grobbel has been in the Detroit area for about 140 years and recently added to its manufacturing capability with the purchase of a facility in St. Clair Shores.

Founded in 1883 by its namesake, E.W. Grobbel, the company started in the old Central Market in Detroit, where Cadillac Square is today, to the immediate east of the Campus Martius area. In 1925, it moved to Detroit’s Eastern Market. E.W. Grobbel currently has a processing facility there. There is also a distribution and pickle processing facility in Taylor, said Jason Grobbel, president of E.W. Grobbel and relative to the founder.

The facility they acquired in St. Clair Shores will be the third processing facility they have in Michigan. Grobbel said they sell deli meats, corned beef and other food products throughout the United States.

“We have a whole variety of deli meats for everything from the true deli restaurant business,” Grobbel said. “We do general restaurants as well as smoked meats.”

Grobbel said about 50% of what is produced goes to supermarkets and the other 50% goes to restaurants. The products are available at Walmart, Sam’s Club, independent businesses and specialty shops, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

“We do quite a wide range of things,” Grobbel said.

The facility in St. Clair Shores covers a total of 90,000 square feet.

“We’re very excited because it enables us to grow, especially in our consumer-packaged goods categories, locally here in the Detroit area,” Grobbel said.

He went on to say they are very excited to work with the city of St. Clair Shores and to create new jobs.

Ryan Chapp, senior vice president of business development at E.W. Grobbel, said they originally estimated the acquisition of the facility would create around 30 to 40 jobs.

“As we continue to grow and expand, I believe that number is going to grow from there,” Chapp said. “But I think that’s a very conservative estimate for the initial jobs.”

Chapp said they acquired the facility rapidly. The previous owners, Perdue Premium Meat Co., reached out to E.W. Grobbel.

“They kind of reached out and said, ‘Hey, we’re going through this process right then,’ and they were hoping to close by the end of the year,” Chapp said. “So that kind of started our journey.”

E.W. Grobbel was previously looking at creating a cold storage and production facility in Detroit when the St. Clair Shores facility went on the market. The issue they were having in Detroit was the large amount of space it would take.

“We’ve been working with them, you know, round and round, trying to make it work and in the meantime this project, this property, kind of became available,” Chapp said.

The current building has the measurements and the tools needed to produce the products they currently make and want to make.

“It was something that just kind of made sense,” Chapp said.

The facility will take around four months to renovate, Grobbel said. The building itself is not antiquated or in a bad state, but there are a few things they need to renovate to best suit their needs. Chapp said they’re not expecting massive renovations.

“The building itself, it’s fairly large, and it’s kind of like an open book for (anything) production-wise,” Chapp said. “I don’t believe we’re going to have to make a massive amount of changes, just maybe tweaks here and there of how it operates, and we should be off to the races.”

Grobbel said they are also excited to continue to grow the agriculture industry in Michigan.

Once up and running, the new facility will double the company’s productivity. Grobbel said the facility in the Eastern Market area has been their only meat production facility.

“(It) is really getting to its limit of the cooking capacity side of it,” Grobbel said. “So we do a lot of raw corned beef and marinated meat products and fresh meat products out of the Eastern Market facility. But the St. Clair Shores facility will focus on cooked items.”

Grobbel said they take a different approach when it comes to employing people. They look forward to employing workers of the new generation and adapting to the workforce. Jason said they have a culture of respect and it’s one of their founding principles.

“When you do that, you really create a wonderfully dynamic workforce,” Grobbel said. “And our mission, really, is to grow and develop people. On the side we make great meat and food products. But our main mission is to grow and develop people.”

Jason said they intend to continue that mission in St. Clair Shores.

“We feel that that has a very positive effect on, certainly, our immediate workforce, but also the community around it,” Jason said.

Grobbel plans on being a part of the community by participating in the Memorial Day Parade and beautifying the new facility. Jason said they’re also working on bringing an outlet store to the St. Clair Shores community.