Roehrborn reflects on years in the meat industry

September 26, 2022


By David Nordby

The Brillion News


A complete version of this story was featured in the September 22, 2022 print edition of The Brillion News.


BRILLION - For Chuck Roehrborn, the meat industry was in the family genes.

“My dad had a meat market in Kaukauna at one time,” Roehrborn said. He grew up in Wrightstown and graduated from Wrightstown High School in 1973. His father worked as a meat cutter for different grocery stores before he owned his market.


“I grew up working around (it) because we used to butcher on the farm for farmers and stuff like that. We had a small shop off the back of our garage,” Roehrborn said.


Roehrborn took a liking to the industry when he was young, and stayed in it until his retirement last month when he sold Roehrborn Meats to Brady Zutz, who renamed it the Brillion Butcher Shop.


“The sausage making and working with my dad and learning sausage,” Roehrborn said of the things that drew him in. Eventually he worked for multiple stores before he purchased what would be Roehrborn Meats in Brillion from Clayton Arndt in 1998. Arndt worked for years in downtown Brillion, then built his own shop in 1976.


“I was looking for quite a while before that. I was looking for the right opportunity,” Roehrborn said.


The meat shop in Brillion proved to be the right one, but it was hard work.


“Taking over a business and going in there and trying to change things and do things your way, it was difficult. I was away from butchering live animals for 20-some years ... For the supermarkets or the grocery stores, we didn't butcher, so getting back to butchering live animals was different,” Roehrborn said.


Roehrborn eventually found his way as a happy member of the community.


“It went pretty good. You're an outsider coming into a small town that was used to Clayton, who grew up and lived in Brillion and stuff like that, but the people took to me real well, and my wife,” Roehrborn said.


Roehrborn gives a large amount of the credit to his wife, Linda. The two were high school sweethearts and married on Sept. 25, 1973. The two shared 48 years of marriage and Linda started working full-time with Roehrborn about a year into his ownership in Brillion.


“I never would have made it go, I don't think, if my wife didn't come and work with me,” Roehrborn said.


Roehrborn took business and accounting classes at Fox Valley Technical College to prepare for ownership, but eventually his wife took that over.


“She was just a people-person, very people-orientated,” Roehrborn says. “It was nice working. We met a lot of really nice people in Brillion. Just so many friends we got to know through the years through the store.”

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