The Sobie Meats Story
The Early Years
Growing up in Marne, Michigan, Tim Sobie learned at an early age the valuable lessons of living in a small town atmosphere personal service, high standards and the quality of life. The farm and country life style in the Marne area prepared Tim for his eventual life calling as an expert butcher and sausage connoisseur. He first started to cut meat working for the Chesla family at the Marne Market and it was there that he learned the quintessential art of making homemade sausage.
Even though his butcher job took up most of his off-school hours, Tim also excelled in music and played trumpet and guitar in a variety/polka band with his brother and two sisters. As busy as he was, Tim still found time for a third interest when he met his future bride, Teresa Jordan, while playing at a dance at The Lexicon Club on the westside of Grand Rapids. Their romance blossomed into marriage and they had three children – Melissa, Tony and Jessica. They now boast of seven grandchildren added to their happy family. As a young married couple raising three children, both Tim and Teresa worked fulltime jobs. Tim’s butcher experience led him to a similar job at Parkside Shop-Rite and then, back again, to the Marne Market. With the responsibility of a growing family, he decided to change occupations to a factory job at Stow/Davis (later known as Steelcase Wood). Meanwhile, Teresa held an office job at Hartford Insurance for 27 years.
The Start of Sobie Meats
Things came to a life changing halt in 2003 when they both lost their jobs due to corporate downsizing. To help make ends meet during those years Tim turned to his butchering skills and, along with Teresa, processed deer, made sausages and began perfecting their meat smoking skills. Putting their faith in God, they began making plans to open their own meat market. The answer to their prayers came to fruition on May 31 of 2004, Memorial Day weekend, when they opened Sobie Meats at 3919 Remembrance Road. As their customer base expanded and business prospered they searched the local area to move into a larger and more suitable location. On October 25 of 2011 they moved into their present location at 3450 Remembrance Road. The Sobies have expanded their inventory to showcase everything from common everyday grocery needs to hard-to-find local, organic and gourmet items. Since opening they have added to their homemade sausages and are currently making over seventy fresh and smoked sausages.
Tim and Teresa believe in supporting other local businesses and have strived to do this since they opened. One of the local farms they buy beef from is Dunneback Farms. Max Dunneback and Tim began their friendship in school and graduated together from Kenowa Hills. Tim and Teresa also buy local pork and local produce as well.
Their years of part-time butchering paid off with the development of their well-known ready-to-serve pulled pork, which has become a big hit at West Michigan parties. Home of the Free Butt Rub became very popular when Jay Leno had a segment making fun of advertisements. Sobie Meats now carries a variety of butt rub t-shirts because of the famous TV spot.
Sobie Meats has become well-known for their pulled pork which has become a big hit at many parties. Their fame second slogan has become after acclaim being known for their signature rub for smoked pork butts. Home of the Free Butt Rub. Some of the products they are known for are local beef and pork that is steroid/hormone free, chicken with no additives, fresh and smoked sausages, they adopted the Parkside kielbasa recipe in 2011, homemade kapusta, salads and dips. Tim and Teresa’s ever-present, friendly personalities have a way with rubbing off onto both their employees and their customers. First time visitors soon discover that Sobie Meats not only boasts quality meats, but genuine and authentic personal service.