Locker is four generations strong
The Napoleon Locker Plant has been staple in many people’s lives for as long as they can remember. The little white building located in Napoleon on 3536 W. Napoleon Wilson Street, has seen many people coming and going, getting quality meat for their families.
The legacy, which began around 1945-46, has been ongoing since Leonard and Mae Kohlman built storage for their butter business, the Napoleon Creamery. They also built locker boxes for meat and home goods. This was at a time before home freezers were readily available, according to Brad Wessel, who is the fourth generation to own the business.
“In later years, a slaughterhouse was added to process beef and pork to put in customers’ locker boxes,” Wessel noted.
The second generation, Sue Ann, daughter of the Kohlmans, married Ralph Kuntz and they purchased the business in 1963 after Ralph had worked there for a few years.
The third generation came along when Kimberly and husband, Matt Brancamp bought the business from her parents in December of 1994.
Enter the fourth generation when the Brancamps sold the Napoleon Locker to their nephew Brad Wessel (Ralph and Sue Ann’s grandson) on August 31, 2020. Brad is married to Kristina and they have three boys – Dylan, Dustin, and Hayden.
Throughout the 2020 COVID-19 situation, the locker plant has been busy. This is one business that has survived the pandemic with people wanting fresh meat. “They want to know where their food is coming from,” Wessel told the Osgood Journal. He said they will continue to provide the same quality meat that the business has been known for throughout the past 75 years. They will celebrate this milestone of having the plant in the same family for 75 years in 2021.
Matt Brancamp will be staying on to work in the locker plant and Brad has left his career in law enforcement to keep the family business going and hope someday to pass it on to a fifth generation. The other employees also retained their jobs at the locker plant with Brad saying, “Customers should experience the same level of service and quality that they have received for generations.
If you are interested in learning more about getting quality meat or how the locker plant operates, call 812-852-4333.