Catering, Custom Meats, Signature Branded Products Drive Shoup’s Country Foods

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Photo credit: ©Journal Communications/Michael Hickey

For more than 40 years, Shoup’s Country Foods in Frankfort has provided custom meats, signature branded products and catering services to its customers.

The Shoup business began with longtime Farm Bureau members Tom and Carol Shoup raising Hampshire hogs. “Mom and Dad were part of a young farmers’ group, and Dad would cook big pork chop meals at little fairs and church suppers,” says Amy Shoup Mennen, one of three Shoup daughters now running day-to-day operations. “Dad developed a seasoning mix for the pork chops, and he would fill large Mason jars to season the chops at these events.”

Raising hogs affected Tom’s asthma, so the couple pivoted and started a small meat-processing plant. They opened a store in 1978 to sell retail meats, along with the pork chop seasoning Tom had developed. Carol designed their first logo.

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Three Business Divisions, One Goal

Photo credit: ©Journal Communications/Michael Hickey

Their experience cooking for large groups morphed into a catering division in 1985. Shoup’s Catering & Events now includes Arborwood, a Shoup-owned venue; On the Rocks, a mobile bar service; and off-premise catering. Before COVID-19 impacted their businesses, Shoup’s Catering fed over 90,000 people a year and accounted for about 60% of their business. Their biggest catering event has been assisting with food and beverage management for the NFL’s tailgate party, held each year in the Super Bowl’s host city. For the past eight years, both Amy and her oldest sister, Cindy Shoup Cacy, have traveled to the Super Bowl site to help manage about 50 vendors at the event.

Prior to the pandemic, the country store accounted for about 25% of sales. The store carried a variety of retail and custom cuts of meat along with Indiana Grown products. Responding to community needs, Shoup’s now offers bread, milk, eggs, cheese and other essential supplies. When many grocery supply chains were disrupted, Shoup’s catering suppliers helped keep the shelves stocked to serve customers.

“We’ve been in business 40 years, so our community trusts us,” says Amy, director of operations for Shoup’s. “When things were scary during COVID, people felt comfortable coming here.”

Cindy directs Shoup’s Catering & Events. Prior to COVID-19, she considered their diverse business divisions to be a disadvantage. “We couldn’t focus on one thing and not be running in a million different directions,” she says. “After COVID hit, I am so thankful that we are a diverse operation.” When catering came to a standstill in March 2020, Shoup’s pivoted to offering fresh, microwavable, single-serve and family-size meals for carryout through the retail store.

The signature products division, directed by third sister Cheri Shoup Jones, also grew during the pandemic shutdown. This division offers Shoup’s Famous Seasoning, porkburgers, pulled pork BBQ, St. Louis-style BBQ ribs, Shoup’s BBQ Sauce (a recipe developed by Carol and Cindy more than 30 years ago) and a mini hog roast. “The mini hog roast is always a fan favorite at Christmas,” Amy says. Shoup’s Signature Products offers many options for holiday gift baskets, which can be shipped nationwide. The barbecue sauce and seasonings can also be found at more than 95 Kroger and independent grocery stores throughout Indiana.

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Tom’s Big Ideas Take Hold

Photo credit: ©Journal Communications/Michael Hickey

In 2020, Shoup’s took over management of the local golf course and opened a restaurant, The FoxDen Bar and Grill, on site. The porkburger and meat entrees seasoned with the famous Shoup seasoning are featured menu items. It’s another venue for chefs to “Shoup It Up” – a phrase used when Tom’s original seasoning flavors a dish.

Carol remains heavily involved in guiding the business and recently worked on a redesign of their logo and branding. “Many Shoup family members, as well as employees that we call extended Shoup family, make these businesses thrive,” Carol says. Though proud of their success, the Shoup daughters regret that their father, who passed away in 2009, didn’t live long enough to see their involvement with the Super Bowl events, Arborwood or the golf course enterprises.

“Dad had the biggest ideas,” Cindy says. “He always instilled in us three girls that there was nothing we couldn’t do, and we were crazy enough to believe that.”

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About Shoup's

Shoup’s Country Foods
2048 South State Road 39
Frankfort, IN 46041
765-654-6071
shoupscountry.com

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