J&R Natural Meats, which opened last year in Paso Robles and Templeton, has bought longtime grocer Kaney Food’s White Stone Meat Packing Co. in Paso Robles.
J&R was founded by Jim Fogle, his son Ryan Perske and local rancher Laird Foshay — who declined to disclose the purchase price for White Stone’s assets.
J&R’s assumption of a five-year lease on the 10,000-square-foot, USDA-approved meat processing facility at 3450 Riverside Drive could signal stability for the location, which has a tumultuous recent past.
The Hearst Corporation bought the property in a bankruptcy sale in June 2010 after Tom Dorsey’s Paso Robles Meat and Sausage Co. was placed in receivership in 2009.
Hearst then leased the plant to Kaney Foods, which opened White Stone there in July 2010. The facility served more than 600 customers a week, including restaurants, schools and supermarkets, according to earlier Tribune reports.
Kaney Foods owner John Kaney was unavailable for comment on the sale. Kaney foods still operates on Capitolio Way in San Luis Obispo, and serves 19 California counties, according to its website.
“This is a challenging step up from our butcher shop, but we can do a better job and serve more customers at the Riverside Drive plant,” J&R partner Fogle said in a recent news release.
Operation of the new plant will be familiar for Fogle, who managed it in 2008 and 2009 as an employee of Paso Meat and Sausage.
J&R, which previously operated in less than 2,000 square feet, will close its Paso Robles facility at 1124 Black Oak Drive as part of the move. Its retail location at 1131 Rossi Drive in Templeton will remain open.
Three of White Stone’s five employees will continue with J&R, bringing its number of employees to 10.
Big coolers at the Riverside plant will allow J&R to accept most of the Mid-State Fair animals, as well as serve local hunters and ranchers. No slaughter will take place at the plant. However, in a related deal, J&R is leasing a mobile harvesting unit from the Central Coast Ag Cooperative. The unit allows for custom slaughter of local animals for individuals and to feed the plant.