Sausage Making History Of Plevas Meats from Northern Michigan
Located in Cedar, Michigan, in the heart of beautiful Leelanau County, is where the sausage making history began. Pleva’s Meats has been making old-fashioned meats since 1946. Ray Pleva, a native of Cedar, Michigan, grew up in the midst of cherry farming and sausage making. In 1970 he teamed up with his brother Andy to run Pleva’s Meats and continued making premium sausages by using high quality meats mixed with specially blended seasoning. The sausages are then smoked with hard maple wood for an old-fashioned flavor and taste.
The most popular of the products is Plevalean, fondly referred to as the "Cherry Burger".
Patented in 1995, Plevalean burgers have found their way into school lunches in 17 states as well as many restaurants and other institutional settings.
Ray’s story has lured over 40 television crews to the Cedar store including two from CNN. He has even shared the stage with Oprah and appeared on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement. The show Extra! featured his story twice.
The cherry-enhanced meat products have also graced the pages of many magazines such as Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health and Fitness Magazine, as well as many national food, medical and trade journals.
The idea of combining cherries with meat came about when his eldest daughter, Cindy, became National Cherry Queen in 1987. It was her idea to help the struggling cherry industry by combining meat with the red tart cherry. Little did anyone know that the cherry would add a touch of gold and create products that not only taste good, but according to research by Michigan State University, are good for you too.
Since the creation of the first products, Ray has introduced nearly 40 cherry-enhanced meat products, two of which won Michigan’s New Product of the Year Awards. Michigan meat laws were amended twice to include this new combination.
Ray has also experimented with venison, lamb, emu and buffalo.
Come visit us in person in the heart of Leelanau County in Northern Michigan.
In 2002, Ray sold the business to his cousins Tom & Connie Pleva who are continuing the family tradition of making premium sausages using high quality meats mixed with our specially blended seasoning and then smoked with hard maple wood for an old-fashioned flavor and taste. With Tom Pleva’s past experience in quality and food handling and Connie’s expertise in the retail food business they are a sure team to continue to bring their loyal past and present customers, traditional old fashioned quality products. Tom, Connie and their sons are dedicated to Pleva’s Meats future success and are understandably proud of their meat selections that are meticulously prepared to assure the finest quality possible that built the family business from the original sausage making history.
Copyright 2004 Jeffery Pleva - Cedar, Michigan