Polashek’s Locker celebrates 40
Wed, 05/03/2023 - 7:22pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor email@example.com
PROTIVIN - It’s party time in Protivin!
No, Czech Days is still three months away, but Polashek Locker’s 40th anniversary is coming up on Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Protivin Fire Station
Adam Polashek stated there will be food, refreshments, a bouncy house for the kids and food specials from now until the open house. There are also chances to win a door prize. In addition, KVIK will be there from 12-2 p.m. to sign up to win a side-by-side.
Paul and Judy Polashek purchased the locker from Whitey and Evelyn Romens in 1983.
In 1985, they started attending the Iowa Meat Processors Association Convention and have been bringing home awards since then! They have around 70 championships.
In 2023, they brought home Grand Champion Snack Sticks, Grand Champion Canadian Bacon, Champion Bacon and Champion Restructured Jerky.
It takes a lot of hard work to start a business and keep it going, especially for 40 years, but the couple has had lots of help. They have had and still have some dedicated employees, as well as their three sons, Cory and Adam, who work full-time at the Locker, and Eric, who helps out at different times.
The shop has seen many additions over the years, as well as upgrades of equipment, including two smoke houses. The last expansion was updating the slicing and packaging area.
Paul still helps pretty much every morning. He said the business has gotten busier over the years. And it has nicer, modern equipment, but butchering is still the same.
Each year, the sausage business seems to increase.
Polashek’s three sons have worked in the business since they purchased it. Paul said, “They used to play in the slaughter room. At that time we would block the drain. The compressor had water that was 190ºF. So they played in the water.”
Cory recalls working in the locker since he was eight years old. Now he has worked there for 30 years full time.
Cresco’s Fareway was the first place to get Polashek’s Locker deliveries, over 30 years ago. Paul remembers it was around 1990, when that started.
Now the Locker delivers to around 100 customers who either use it for their own restaurants, or sell it. The furthest vendor is in Tiffin, Iowa, near Cedar Rapids, and the nearest is Fast Mart in Protivin!
Adam said something that helped them sell even more places was when the State of Iowa allowed small lockers to sell their meat across state lines. Now they sell in Harmony, Preston, LeRoy, Spring Valley, Adams and more in Minnesota.
Polashek’s Locker is known far and wide for all sorts of meat, but snack sticks and brats have got to be their best-sellers — especially with the summer barbecuing season coming up!
The business sells 12 varieties of snack sticks. “Plain is the best-seller,” said Adam, “and plain with cheese is next.” But they also have jalapeno, pineapple and Bloody Mary-flavored.
Favorite flavors of brats are plain, omelette (with bacon, egg and cheese) and cheddar. If those don’t get you ready for summer, there are 33 other flavors from which to choose.
Do you like macaroni and cheese? They’ve got a brat for that.
Pivo (Beer)? Yep.
Jalapeno and cheese? Of course, although you might need a pivo chaser.
Onion and bell pepper? For sure.
Mango habanero? Jasne (“Yes” in Czech!).
And, it wouldn’t be a trip to the locker without some bacon. That comes in several flavors as well — peppered, jalapeno, cinnamon and regular hickory-smoked.
Adam said the Locker gets the idea for new flavors from a variety of sources — customers, spice companies or employees. Experimenting and taste-testing the product are the best part of the job!
Polashek’s Locker wants to show its appreciation of all its customers, new and old, who have crossed its threshold since 1983. Make it a point to stop out for the open house, or just visit the locker and purchase some weekend yum! Czech it out!