A stalwart cow named Herbie and patronage that has endured six generations are no match for economic forces that make it more than just a little daunting for a small business to keep its doors open.

Even with competition from mega retail grocers, Edwardsville Frozen Foods--located at 246 N. Main St. in Edwardsville--has defied the odds and remained a thriving downtown business. It abides by a simple motto: Quality retail meats since 1947.

Fresh meat is cut on site by union meat cutters and it produces its own pork sausage and brats. Sources also say that the marinated rib eye is mouth watering, unmatched and no less than superb.

Approaching its busiest season of the year, co-owner Ed Hall said the butcher shop, which sells a wide variety of meats, poultry and fish, will begin its annual flush of wild game processing shortly. The store's other owner is Fred Schulte.

Edwardsville Frozen Foods typically processes between 500-600 deer per season from the middle of November through the end of the year. As a full service provider, butchers remove hides, cut and package meat.

The store, which is among only a few butchers shops in the county, also caters to a retail base.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, Hall said the shop will sell fresh and smoked turkeys.

Edwardsville Frozen Foods was founded in 1947 by the Rizolli and Dippel families, according to Hall. The business was later purchased from the Brueggeman family by Hall and Schulte.

Herbie, the cow statue adorning the top of the business for approximately 40 years, even withstood a destructive tornado in 1981. Amid the destruction, Herbie was not flung far. He was found tipped over on his side.

Hall said that Herbie has been stolen three times at the hands of pranksters, but always has been recovered. These days, Herbie is not as readily accessible because a ladder that linked Edwardsville Frozen Foods to the adjacent Wildey Theater has been removed.

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