KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A longtime Kansas City, Kansas, meat market dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 is now temporarily closing its doors.
Bichelmeyer Meats is a community staple that’s been around more than 70 years. The business has survived floods and a fire and was seeing a surge in sales during the pandemic.
But now with two workers testing positive for the virus, the owners said it was the right move to press pause.
With shoppers flooding grocery stores during the pandemic, and meat packing plants closing, some retailers have been forced to limit meat purchases.
That’s driven customers to smaller stores like Bichelmeyer Meats in KCK.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with business from a retail perspective, as well as people calling from surrounding areas to get their livestock harvested and cut up into steaks, roast and burger, hams, bacon, pork chops and sausage,” said Joe Bichelmeyer, owner and operator of Bichelmeyer Meats.
But now the health crisis is creating a new problem for the family owned store. Two retail workers tested positive for COVID-19.
Bichelmeyer said having those workers unable to help keep up with extraordinary demand, coupled with concerns for customer and employee safety, he decided to temporarily close the retail shop.
“It was voluntary that we closed the store and continue to do our processing because that limits our exposure to the public and exposure of the public to us,” Bichelmeyer said.
The store will remain closed to the public until the employees test negative.
When they return, business will still be busy. Bichelmeyer’s is booked out on hog and cow orders until March.
The owners have been in talks with the Wyandotte County Health Department and a local clinic. They said they will comply with any safety measures necessary, even going above and beyond when possible to keep everyone safe when they reopen.