Conger Meat Market is SBA’s Minnesota Woman-Owned Small Business for 2019

Albert Lea, Minn., small business recognized for growth and community support
Release Date: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Release Number: 
19.12.MN
Contact: 
sarah.swenty@sba.gov

MINNEAPOLIS – The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Conger Meat Market the 2019 Minnesota Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. The company will be honored at the state’s Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on May 10 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

“Small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy and nowhere is that more apparent than in our rural communities,” said Nancy Libersky, district director for the SBA in Minnesota. “We’re proud to be a part of success stories like Darcy’s. The jobs she creates and the community she supports are exactly what we at the SBA work hard for every day.”

Since 1935, Conger Meat Market, in Albert Lea, Minn., has provided quality processing of beef, hog, and wild game to southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Purchasing the business in 2004, Darcy Johnson and her husband continue the tradition of an old-fashioned meat market, utilizing award-winning original Czechoslovakian recipes and creating new ones of their own. They have also significantly grown the business, adding USDA certification and expanding into a second and larger location which they were able to renovate and refinance with the help of an SBA-backed loan.

The 504 Corporation, which nominated Johnson for the award, had this to say about the business: “Darcy is deserving of this award due to her perseverance and determination to bring Conger Meat Market to the next level of industry requirements. She has been key in the dedication that it took to go through the long process of becoming a USDA federally licensed facility at a time when several small meat markets are choosing to shut their doors rather than comply with the updated state licensing requirements. As a result, Conger Meat Market has sustained increased sales for processing, retail and shipping of products, and increased customer base and newly expanded locations.”

Johnson is an avid supporter of the local communities with donated meat products and processing going to organizations such as the Eagles Club, Lions Club, Ducks Unlimited, the Minnesota Deer Association and Pheasants Forever. She is also an active member of her church, serving on the council multiple times over the past 20 years.

The SBA Minnesota District Office, along with the SCORE Association and the Minnesota State Small Business Development Center, will honor all the 2019 Minnesota-based winners at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on May 10, 2019, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Registration is open for the event until May 7 at http://tinyurl.com/y6n8sxsk.

National Small Business Week is dedicated to honoring small business owners and their champions across the nation. It has been celebrated annually and proclaimed by each President for more than 50 years. Along with recognizing the hard working and deserving small business owners, the SBA also recognizes the lenders, resource partners, and spouses and families who provide support for small businesses. For more information on Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/NSBW.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

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