Jerry Roorda describes himself as a man who has “worn several hats” over his career. A police officer, a certified arborist and now the man running In’t Veld’s Meat Market — a local establishment since 1911.
Behind the meat market’s counter at 820 Main St., Roorda has paved a path to statewide success with his products.
In the past year, Roorda’s beef jerky won grand champion at the 2013 Iowa Meat Processors Cured Meat Championships, as well as the 2014 grand champion for beef sticks. His summer sausage earned a blue ribbon at last year’s Iowa State Fair, and the meat market was named one of the top 10 food establishments in the Red Rock Marketing Area.
“I can’t emphasize what it means to have great people in the right place, in the key positions (at In’t Veld’s),” Roorda said. “Now we have set a bar, and have something to achieve.”
Getting to this point was not without its frustrations. Roorda first had to learn the ropes of managing a meat market coming from 10 years in a marketing and sales group at Vermeer Corporation.
“I was about 50 years old, and I knew I had one last good push in it,” he said. “I had to decide if I wanted to put another 10 years in at Vermeer — or do something else.”
Smoking meat was already a hobby for Roorda before he ever took over In’t Veld’s, but it has taken experience from within the meat market to get the business to where it is at present.
One meat expert helping Roorda is Jim DeJoode, who has worked at In’t Veld’s for 18 years. DeJoode oversees production, and has assisted Roorda in the ownership transition. A few years in, DeJoode said he has seen a rise in the level of customer friendliness in part to changes like Roorda’s remodeling of the business’ interior.