Jason and LaRynn Schlange purchased the Hamilton Packing Co. and the home that belonged to Kim and Marty Auch, owners since 1988.
Hamilton Packing Co., Home of Quality, Montana Territory Products, is a meat shop that sells retail and wholesale. They also offer custom meat processing and wild game processing.
“Our plan is to keep it local with as much produced here in the valley that we can,” Jason said. “We're going to provide everyone with the best quality product that we can. We will continue to provide the best and then add more options, more choices and a bigger selection.”
Schlange said on the retail side he plans to offer more marinated, more pre-seasoned, ready-to-go products.
“More fresh beef, more fresh chicken, more fresh pork and then specialty products that customers can only get here,” he said. “That’s what’s going to make this place awesome. We’ll have blow-your-mind flavors that you have to come here to get. Look to next summer and I’ll be ready to get the ball rolling after this busy season,” he said. “Well bring some spice to it.”
Quality and being the best are key.
“Quality not quantity is what we’re going to be all about,” Schlange said. “We’ll have competitive pricing but quality is our focus. I want to be the best and I want to sell the best.”
Beyond the type of meat, the business will focus on the type of service — from custom processing to taking care of people’s wild game.
Schlange said former owner Marty Auch has been invaluable in the transition.
“From help with the state inspection to who to buy from, what local ranchers they have used consistently, things that would be tough for someone new in town that doesn’t know anybody,” Schlange said. “They are instrumental for the next year and have been super helpful. Marty and Kim were looking to slow it down but we are here to take care of everyone we possibly can, we are here to do business.”
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Fall has a high demanding for meat processing with hunters bringing in their wild game.
“Fall will be busy and this is a good time of year where there won’t be a lull,” Jason Schlange said. “We’ll get through the busy season then make it so it is busy year-round. We are going for it.”
He appreciates that the business and Hamilton have room to grow.
“Not that I want to have 100,000 people here but we’re looking to grow the retail side and some wholesale eventually,” Jason said. “Initially, we’re going to keep everything the same and do everything the Auch’s were doing and then we’ll see what else we can bring to the table.”
Eight full-time employees came with the business and those numbers may be expanding with part-time openings for the busy season that could lead to full-time.
Schlange said he had worked the business for 19-years in Northern California before purchasing the business in the Bitterroot.
“We had a wholesale and regional operation there but mainly we moved here for lifestyle,” he said. “We want to raise our kids in a smaller community because that’s how it was for us when we were born and raised. We wanted to get back to a small town, a country community.”
The Schlanges, with their two children who will attend Hamilton Middle School, are an outdoor family enjoy hunting, fishing, kayaking, hiking and riding bikes.
“We are excited to be here, we love it here and we aren’t going to change the jerky recipe, that’s the first question people ask,” LaRynn Schlange said.
For meat processing and retail purchases contact Hamilton Packing Co. at 692 U.S. Highway 93, Hamilton, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 406-961-3861, HPQualitymeats@gmail.com and follow them on Facebook for weekly specials, progress and new offerings.