When Martha Neese and her husband moved from Minnesota to Arizona years ago, they said they did not miss the cold, harsh winters—but they did miss the meat.

They would go back home and bring back as much meat as they possibly could. They would stop in at their local Von Hanson’s and stock up, until they had the idea to bring a taste of the Midwest to the Valley of the Sun.

“We thought it would be a great thing to have a meat market down here because of all the Minnesota and Midwestern people that were in the same boat as us—that hated the meat here and didn’t want to eat it and basically would become vegetarians,” Neese said.

Neese said when they opened Von Hanson’s in Chandler in June 2004, it was difficult to break into the market.

“Once we got our food in their mouths, they would keep coming back,” Neese said of Von Hanson’s customers. “It was getting them in the door at first that was difficult.”

The quality and customer service Von Hanson’s doles out is what manager Keith Van Zuiden is most proud of. He said he and the staff like to help other people learn to cook and make a great meal at home—especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeping more people from eating out.

“Cooking is a form of entertainment,” Van Zuiden said. “It’s a nice way to hang out. Some people come in here, and they don’t know what they are eating for dinner that night. We like to help them plan a great meal and teach them how to cook it from start to finish.”

The market also sells locally sourced spices, sauces and rubs; makes dog treats; and sells dog bones and is known best for its sausages. The market also offers customers a variety of take-and-bake items that are ready to cook and serve. Von Hanson’s is also a haven for hunters who will bring javelina and deer in to be preserved and cut.

“We really want to excel at customer service and give a good product. It’s not going to be the cheapest product, but it is going to be high quality with a reasonable price,” Neese said.

Van Zuiden said he wants to make sure everyone who walks through the door feels valued.

“We have food you can’t get anywhere else and customer service you don’t see anywhere else,” Van Zuiden said.