Meat Me in Menomonie

Cut Rite Meat Shoppe offers local selection & expert advice

Danielle Zinsli, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Brent Hanson has been cutting meat since he was 16 years old.

“I worked in a grocery store – worked my way into the meat department. And I’ve been doing it ever since,” said Hanson, who owns Cut Rite Meat Shoppe in Menomonie.

He started the full-service meat shop about 20 years ago with Mike Blakley and John Lentz. These days he’s the sole owner, but he does have a few employees to help with daily operations.

The store sits on Broadway Street, the main drag going through Menomonie as you approach downtown from the north. It’s an unassuming building with walls that are peppered with hand-written signs, old newspaper clippings, and family photos. There’s a small marquee sign out front advertising current specials. You can smell the smoked meats from the parking lot.

Inside are several cases of brats, beef sticks, and jerky, which he said is one of his most popular items and can sell out quickly. Jars of sauces, seasonings, and local honey and maple syrup line the meat counter, which holds the fresh beef, pork, chicken, and seafood.

While he makes only one flavor – “regular,” he calls it – of beef jerky, he said the varieties for brats, snack sticks, and other sausages range in the dozens. Among these are jalapeno, garlic, crushed red pepper, honey barbecue, and maple.

“I probably have 40 different varieties of sausage that I make when you figure it out with the different flavors and stuff like that,” Hanson said.

Despite the store’s small square footage, the options are endless. But Hanson said there’s no reason to be intimidated by the selection. While he has several customers who stop in multiple times each week, Cut Rite is also accessible to the complete meat novice.

“We answer a lot of questions every day,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s on the phone or across the counter.”

Besides inquiries into different cuts of meat and whether he has jerky in stock, one question that comes up is that of price. Hanson ensures, however, that Cut Rite is competitive compared to your typical grocery store or even big-box retailers.

“Another thing people don’t realize – they’re always under the assumption that you’re higher-priced than everybody else,” he said. “I’m cheaper than Walmart on a lot of fresh meat and stuff like that.”

Cut Rite, 872 N. Broadway St., Menomonie, is open 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturday. More information is available online at facebook.com/cutritemeats.