Thielen Meats of Little Falls is a 4 generation, family run, meat market founded by John Thielen and his wife Linda (Winzenburg). Currently, the couple continue to own and operate along with their children. Though officially opening the doors in 1990, the legacy of Thielen Meats began nearly 70 years earlier.
John’s love of the meat business began as a boy. He grew up in the small meat shop established in 1922 by his grandparents Phil and Cora Thielen. Initially, the business operated in the back of a furniture store until John’s parents, Lerald and Dorothy eventually took over and built where Thielen Meats of Pierz currently operates and resides.
At the age of 12 years old, John joined the family business as the 3rd generation. His first jobs were a bacon slicer and cleanup boy (two jobs he still holds to this day)! By the age of 15, he was relied upon to do product purchasing while his father was away on hunting trips. He fondly remembers his fathers' advice, "never under order product" and "you will never get yelled at for ordering too much!” It was this trust from his father that made John realize he would forever work in the meat business.
In 1977, just days before John and Linda’s wedding, Johns' father passed unexpectedly. Despite this devastation, the family pulled together to keep the business operating. Along with his Mother and Brother, John carried on his father’s legacy until 1989. With the support of his mother, he followed in his fathers' footsteps by building his own Meat Market.
When Thielen Meats of Little Falls opened its doors in November 1989, Johns' dreams of owning his very own Meat Market were fulfilled. Longtime friends and employees, Jerry Langer and Dave Jansen, accompanied John from Thielen Meats in Pierz to begin his new endeavor in Little Falls. Jerry and Dave helped John through the many challenges of building a business from the ground up. He ran his business with the same model and principles that his father had taught him; treat your employees well and always put the customers first!
Thielen Meats of Little Falls continues to maintain the same principles, recipes, and processes that John learned as a boy and is now passing along to his children. Michael Thielen and Jessica Thielen have since joined the family tradition as the 4th generation in the meat business. With an outpouring of community support, the business has grown from 10 employees to over 25 and has expanded three times!
to all of our loyal customers and
to the Little Falls community for supporting us.
We would not be who we are today without you!
2020 Little Falls Chamber of Commerce Large Business of the Year Award
Morrison County Record News Article -