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Company History and Profile

Shortly after returning from the Pacific Theatre at the end of World War II, Henry A. Kern founded Kern Meat Company in a South St. Louis garage with the simple but all important philosophy of customer service.

H.A. KernIn 1970, Henry A. Kern invited his son-in-law Dennis Markwardt and daughter Tina Markwardt to join the family business. Under their stewardship, Kern Meat Company grew considerably in size and reputation. In 2008, Dennis and Tina Markwardt’s son-in-law, Matt Sherman, joined the family business as general manager in the midst of completing his doctoral studies in American history at Saint Louis University. Working closely together, Dennis and Matt acquired an exclusive license to buy and sell Certified Hereford Beef®, established a fresh-cut steak program for five Midwest food service companies, developed a long-term strategic marketing campaign to rebrand Kern Meat Company, and streamlined Kern Meat Company’s ordering, processing, and delivery operations through the implementation of new techniques and innovative technology.

As a result, Kern Meat Company has grown to become one of the most recognizable names in the St. Louis and the Middle West for providing quality USDA-inspected meat. Most recently, we were selected by the members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis as the 2009 Purveyor of the Year, and in 2012, Dennis Markwardt was awarded the T.C. Dubois Chen Award from the ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis for his professional commitment to the foodservice industry.

Mission Statement

For 66 years, our family and employees at Kern Meat Company have been privileged to provide St. Louis and the Midwest with the highest quality meat products. Our business philosophy includes five important principles:

  • Produce only the highest quality meat products
  • Source products from the best regions and from reputable companies that are committed to humane handling practices
  • Work closely with local farmers and ranchers to showcase Missouri’s rich agricultural heritage and preserve our precious natural resources
  • Provide outstanding service to our customers
  • Treat our employees like members of our family

These principles guide our purchasing, sales, production, and the delivery of our product from our facility to your kitchen, and we are proud to display H.A. Kern’s name on our trucks and every package.

President
Dennis Markwardt

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Dennis joined the family business in 1972. H.A. Kern worked side-by-side to build Kern Meat Company as the premier protein supplier in the area.

General Manager
Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.

After working in the plant as a part-time selector and meat cutter between college semesters, Matt joined Kern Meat Company in 2008 as the general manager. He is responsible for the overall operation of Kern Meat Company, which includes production, sales, purchasing, and the food safety program.

e: matts@kernmeatco.com
t: @kernmeatcompany

Sales
William Schnitker

Bill grew up in the meat processing industry at his family company, Major Meat Company. He has nearly 52 years of knowledge in the meat industry, and in 1991, he joined the team at Kern Meat Company. Bill has extensive experience in catering to the health care and assisted living sector.

e:  williams@kernmeatco.com

Sales
Jesse Leonard

Hired in 2011, Jesse brings nearly 40 years of foodservice experience to Kern Meat Company. After a stint at a large foodservice company, Jesse wanted to return to a family owned and operated meat company. Jesse is an expert in further processed and cured meats, pork, and deli meats.

e:  jessel@kernmeatco.com