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HISTORY

Our Founder - Albert E. HeinkelHeinkel’s Packing Company began in Decatur, Illinois in 1912 when German immigrant, Albert Heinkel, started making sausage in the back of his store which served the dual purpose of community grocery store and meat market.

Albert and his sons slaughtered and butchered pork and beef which was used to produce various German sausages. They processed these sausages in the basement of their grocery store located on east Eldorado Street. The final product was then delivered by peddler trucks to individuals and grocery stores around the greater Decatur area.
 
Albert Heinkel (2nd from left) Eldorado St. Market - 1912
Albert’s sons moved the business into a larger facility on North 22nd Street in 1945 where the business has thrived to this day. It was at this location that Heinkel’s Packing Company developed a broader and mutually beneficial relationship with its customers throughout central Illinois. Heinkel's Packing continued to serve independent grocery stores and distributors with the best fresh beef, pork, smoked meats, and quality sausage products for the remainder of the century. 
 
The 1980’s brought a changing of the guard as the third generation of the Heinkel family took over the reins at Heinkel’s Packing. Under new leadership the company changed strategy by getting out of the slaughter business and reorienting its focus to making high-quality sausage and smoked meat products.  During this time, Heinkel's began packaging and distributing pre-cut beef and pork products such as beef tenderloins, ribeyes, pork butts, spare-ribs, and our world class bacon.
 
In the 1990's, Heinkel's recognized the large gap between the amount of avid deer hunters in the Midwest and the lack of processors who could service them.  Heinkel's filled that gap and began processing specialty deer products ranging from venison summer sausage to venison jalapeño and cheese bologna. Due to its extensive expertise the processing of venison was a good fit for Heinkel’s and it filled an important need in the community.
 
At the turn of the century, Heinkel’s Packing widened its gaze and acquired a federal license in order to distribute products across state lines. Heinkel’s now distributes its specialty sausage, smoked meats and poultry products in over 40 states.
 
Heinkel’s Packing, now spanning four generations, has faithfully served its customers for a century. None of this, however, would be possible without the support of our loyal customers who consistently think of Heinkel's when they think of Meat. We are thankful for your business and we will continue to serve you, the customer, for many years to come.

 
Heinkels Leadership 2012
 
 

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