By DENNIS D. CRUZ
Lockeford is a small community off Highway 88 with just over 3,000 residents. However, there is no shortage of foot traffic entering Lockeford Meats & Sausage. Peter Pettersen has been the owner and manager at the facility for over 45 years and his reputation draws customers from around the region.
“When I was a young man, I used to help run businesses for several different people. So one day I thought, ‘Why not open a business of my own?’ So I gave it a try and people seem to flock to it,” said Pettersen.
His passion for crafting meat and sausage began when he was 11. The passion only grew and thanks to a few mentors, he was able to break into the meat business.
“I was fortunate enough to be around some great men who taught me a thing or two about what I do. They were very knowledgeable.”
People would bring their game to Pettersen and he would turn it into jerky.
“That’s kind of how things got started. A few buddies would bring in their wild game and I would take care of them. This went on for quite a while,” said Pettersen.
Folks from all over the 209 and beyond make the trip to the sleepy town for the wide selection of signature meats at Lockeford Meats & Sausage. With over 25 different selections, it has turned into a destination for travelers and locals alike.
“I came from Chowchilla to get Hawaiian Luau Sausage and British Bangers;” said Claudia Castaneda, a customer of six years.
Hawaiian Luau Sausage, garlic sausage, sausage sticks and jalapeno sausage are just a few of the signature items that they offer.
“A lot of these (sausages) you cannot get anywhere else. You may see some of them but I guarantee you that you won’t find this kind of variety anywhere else,” said Pettersen’s son York, who also works at the shop and is very proud of the family business.
“We have so many different varieties of meats. Bavarian, Cajun andouille, bacon, garlic, old fashioned franks,” noted York. “We are the best at what we do, and we serve nothing but the best to this
Over the years, Lockeford Meats & Sausage has been active in the community. They appear at festivals and other events throughout the calendar year. Their summer is always packed and 2018 is no different. In May they attended the Oakdale Chocolate Festival, traveled to a Mother’s Day event in Alameda, and did Brewfest in Turlock, amongst others. This summer, scheduled stops are at the Patterson Apricot Fiesta, Kat Country’s Listener Appreciation Concert and more. July is their busiest time of the year.
“July is the biggest month for us. We have Fourth of July barbecues and family reunions and sausage is always on the menu it seems like,” said Pettersen. “We have been doing festivals and other large events for over 30 years. We like to get out into the community because they are what has kept us in business and we want to give back to those who have helped make us the success that we are.”