GODFREY - The Godfrey Meat Market will celebrate 15 years of business this year, and their food and prices are as consistent as ever.

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Owner Ian Warford explained that the Godfrey Meat Market sells hot meals every day as well as cuts of meat and meat bundles. They also cater events or can prepare a catered meal to-go for private parties. He tries to look for the best meats and prices out there. For Warford, it’s all about quality control.

“Starting with that meat, we cut it in house, we grind it in house, we make all our own stuff right there, right in beautiful downtown Godfrey, Illinois,” he said. “That’s not only quality control with how you’re buying your meat and how you’re purchasing it, but then also how you’re handling it afterwards and taking care of it and rotating it and running it through and everything like that. It’s a big thing.”

As a chef by trade and a wine connoisseur, Warford has a long history in the food business. But taking over the Godfrey Meat Market in 2010 was still challenging in some ways, especially as he adjusted to owning a business and analyzing costs.

“You’re going from being a paid employee and working for people your whole life, and then you step into something that you got to think about all of the things and all the ancillary costs, and if you’re fortunate enough to have a family you got to think about taking care of them, and of course that involves insurances and things like that, all that you have to provide on your own,” he said. “It’s scary.”

These challenges intensified during the COVID-19 Pandemic, when prices for meat and supplies skyrocketed. Warford remembers when the cost of plastic gloves alone went up 400%. Like a lot of businesses, the Godfrey Meat Market had to make adjustments to account for these rising prices.

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But Warford has made it a point to stay as affordable and consistent as possible. Most of his prices haven’t changed in over a year, including the meat bundles. He noted that it’s important to him as a small business to support the customers who support him.

This is why he advocates for shopping small rather than going to big box stores. He buys his meat from Midwestern producers, and he encourages people to stop by the Godfrey Meat Market for their grocery needs. Not only does this keep the prices down, he said, but the quality of the meat is better than what you get at a bigger store.

“We try to keep it consistent, just try to keep prices where they should be. Some weeks it’s a little better, some weeks it’s a little worse on my end,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because if we put all of our eggs in these large corporate baskets, that's all there's going to be. And when they decide to dictate the rules and change the rules, that’s what you’re going to be left with…Harder times just consolidate those larger corporations. And as Americans, it’s kind of rough, at least for me it is, when we’re left with not as many choices.”

There are plenty of choices at the Godfrey Meat Market, with over 15 meat bundles and specials every day. You can check out the meat bundles for anywhere from $49.99 to $249.99, depending on how much meat you want to stock in your freezer. Warford promises “a nice big filling meal” for $12 every day, and plenty more options depending on what they have in.

The business will soon offer corned beef and more specials for St. Patrick’s Day, and they plan to bring in more meats for grilling and barbecuing as the seasons change. You can visit GodfreyMeatMarket.com or call 618-466-6111 for more information about specials, deals and more.

Warford thanks his customers and the community, including the North Alton-Godfrey Business Council, for their support over the past 15 years.

“Good people,” he added. “You definitely get that local feeling and that people are looking out for you.”

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