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Falatic Meat Market:

An Institution by Dorothy Shook

The Sawyer area has some real drawing cards. The spectacular dunes, Warren Dunes State Park and the Falatic Meat Market Nina Hancock gave Ron and Peggy Falatic's meat market a descriptive phrase to describe the unique customer service given. "This place is an institution."

In 1976 when I was a real estate associate I happened to have a Sunday afternoon when I had to mow my lawn. A car pulled into my drive and Ron, Peggy and a couple of their friends from Sawyer stopped to ask about the meat market for sale near to Warren Dunes State Park. Ron and I began talking not only about the store but the fact that we both grew up not too far from one another in Gary, Indiana. They are the kind of people that you feel you have known all of your life. Ron had worked in Gary for Tittle's Market as a butcher beginning in 1951. When the elder owner died in 1975 he began to sense that it was time to go out on his own. When a customer from Sawyer who had traded with him at the Gary store suggested he check out the Red Arrow location, he stepped out on faith.

On August 5, 1976 he and his wife Peggy became the owners and butchers and the Falatic dynasty began. At that time their four children Pam, Valeri, Nick and Joe were in school in Portage, Indiana. This is where Ron and Peggy still own their home. As the children became adults they helped out in the store when they could and got experience in this family owned business. Twenty four years later Pam lives in Chino, California with her husband Brad and two children. Valerie and her husband John and two boys live in North Carolina. Son Nick is a full partner in the butcher shop and works along side Ron and Peggy. He and daughter Constance live in Portage with their parents.

Son Joe and his wife Kim live in Valparaiso where Joe is a Porter County Sheriffs deputy and a backup butcher when the need arises, particularly holidays. When Ron had a bypass in February 1997, the sons pitched in and did a great job working at the store while allowing Ron to heal. This is a very family oriented caring circle and the customers responded with unrelenting support to the entire family.

True butcher service is sometimes hard-to-find in this day and age where all meat is cut to the specifications of the customer at the time they order. This includes the ground beef that is not ground until one asks. One of the customers asked Ron if a lot of renowned people come in after he had seen a television personality in the store. There are a number of second home owners in the area with recognizable names. "All of the people who walk in the door are celebrities," Ron quipped. "We try to treat each new customer as a friend and they bring in more friends." He continued: "What more could we ask?"

Peggy makes an excellent beef jerky and the family makes a chicken sausage right in the store. The purchase government inspected and choice meats as well as fresh turkeys in season. Fresh fish and lobster is a weekly request. Pickled herring is always a winner. Ostrich meat is gaining popularity.

They have a distinctive way on site of smoking their own ham and bacon. For a while I had the pleasure of helping out by running the register during the peak holiday times. It was easy helping a friend by being a friend. Little did I know almost 25 years ago that this client would turn my family into customers and friends. Nina Hancock is right. This market is an institution.