GREENTOP, Mo. –Meat snack processor Western’s Smokehouse LLC announced recently that it acquired fellow meat snack processor Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats out of Galesburg, IIIinois.

Both companies and facilities produce crafted meat snacks such as snack sticks, strips, bars and bites. Each company also uses premium meats with their products including antibiotic-free turkey, chicken and pork, 100 percent grass-fed beef and human-grade pet treats.

“Dating back 40 years, both companies have had tremendous mutual respect. The Hankes family is a pillar of the Galesburg community and the meat processing industry,” said Ben Rudman, president of Western’s Smokehouse and partner at Charis Consumer Partners. “We are obsessed with delighting consumers and helping our private label customers win, and the Thrushwood team will help us do both. On a combined basis, we now have more capacity, capability, and innovation resources to help our customers grow.”

Charis Consumer Partners is a small independent group comprised of consumer-packaged goods executives and partners with family-owned businesses in the food manufacturing industry.

“Our family has known the Western’s family for decades and this combination just makes sense,” said Doug Hankes vice president at Thrushwood Farms. “We are thrilled to partner with Western’s and Charis and look forward to using this partnership to help our customers grow.”

Hankes will stay on after the acquisition as a vice president at Western’s Smokehouse, according to WGIL radio.

As part of the acquisition announcement, Thrushwood said it will be closing its retail store on Feb. 22, 2020, that’s been serving the Galesburg community for many years to focus on manufacturing and growing the snack business. All retail store employees have been offered jobs in the existing Galesburg plant.

Founders Jim and Kae Hankes also announced that they would be stepping back from the company with plans to retire by the end of 2020. 

“It’ll be a sad day to close the store. So much has gone into it over the years,” said Jim Hankes. “It’s bittersweet because change is hard, but it’s ultimately the right thing and will allow us to focus on a growing part of our business and create exciting new opportunities for the area.”

In August 2019, Thrushwood completed a 28,000-sq.-ft. expansion of production and warehouse space adding to its previous 27,400-sq.-ft. facility.