Lindley Locker is located in the heart of Jones County and has been operating since 1978. For the past decade, it’s been run by mother-daughter duo, Marcee Lindley and her daughter Danielle Silver.
Silver got her start helping her grandparents, Harley and Judy, out at the shop when her parents had to work as well as helping her dad on the farm. When it was time for them to retire in 2012, she pushed for her mom to take over the business with her.
“I was the one kind of pushing for it because when grandma and grandpa said they wanted to retire, I kept saying, ‘We should buy the locker,’” she said.
The old locker was right next door to the current locker, which opened in 1971. Lindley’s husband, who runs a concrete business, helps on butchering days.
It’s a small operation, with just a few employees, just five or six, some of whom have been working with the locker for decades. The whole operation runs like a well-oiled machine with everyone accustomed to the particular roles that they play.
New employee, Caleb Weber, was in the middle of breaking down his first hog. Having been with the locker for the past week or so, he said he was interested in learning the trade because he, “wanted to do something different.”
“I never thought I’d be doing this,” he said. “It’s interesting. It’s not something you see every day.”
The locker runs pretty old school. The business relies largely on word of mouth.
“Mostly customers tell customers,” Lindley said.
The main animals the locker deals with are pigs, cows and deer, but the hunters that serve as the locker’s clientele can bring in a wide range of animals. They’ve cut everything from sheep to buffalo and elk.
The main difference over the years is how the terminology has changed. The shop has to deal with a lot of confusion where certain cuts are concerned.
“The grocery stores are naming stuff differently,” Lindley said, pointing to recently cut pork chops as an example. “They call them porterhouse chops, which you associate more with beef.”
Even after how long they’ve been in business, they’re still learning on occasion. Recently, when butchering a lamb, instead of leaving the chops, they got a request to cut the chops into a rack of lamb. The process involves cutting the lamb in half and exposing the bone. The crew was able to determine the customer’s need by some quick internet research.
“It’s usually the same piece of meat, just cut it a little differently,” Lindley said.
They’ve also recently started experimenting with a new marinade.
The locker offers some retail options as well as their butchering options, which need to be dropped off and picked up. The locker can be reached at 563-487-2441.