Jack's one of the oldest businesses in county

Friday, March 9, 2012
Jack's Fine Foods, 117 E. National Ave., Brazil, is one of the oldest independently owned businesses in Clay County. The butcher shop is currently owned by Christopher Styleburg. It has had a total of five owners in the past 88 years.

The Davis Building isn't the only place with history in Brazil.

A local butcher shop has been in business for 88 years, making it one of the oldest independently owned businesses in Clay County.

Two men established Jack's Fine Foods, formerly known as Grass and Jones', in 1924. The business began as a joint venture between the two men, however, according to Jack Withers, former owner of the business, the two men didn't get along.

"They didn't get along too well for whatever reason," Withers said. "So Bill Grass bought (the other man) out, and (that man) bought a place three or four blocks down the road and started his own meat cutting shop."

The Grass family maintained and ran the store until 1965. After deaths in the family, no one wanted to run the store anymore, according to Withers.

That year, Isaac Winstead, who owned a small store near the business, bought the store from the Grass family. He owned the butcher shop, then named Winstead's, until 1975 when he retired.

Withers purchased the shop from Winstead and ran the store until 2000, renaming it Jack's Fine Foods.

"There was a young boy who used to stop on his way to school every morning," Withers said. "That boy, Christopher Styleburg, worked for me in the store since he was 13-years-old."

"When your family don't have much money, if you want anything you have to work for it," Styleburg said of working at the shop. "I started out sweeping and mopping and then eventually learned to cut meat."

In 2000, Withers sold the business to Styleburg, the current owner.

"It came at the right time," Styleburg said. "I'll probably keep it until I pass away."

According to Withers, all the tile work in the walls, ceiling and floors is original.

The locally owned and operated business includes a butcher shop, deli, catering service and grocery store. Located at 117 E. National Ave., Brazil, the shop specializes in custom processing and butchering of USDA certified beef, quality pork and poultry, as well as seafood, deli meats, cheeses, homemade sausage and a deer processing station.

"There are very few independently owned stores still in business," Withers said. "That store has never been closed. It has been in continual operation since 1924."

Styleburg agreed that there are few independently owned stores these days.

"Not too many people want to go into the independent business anymore," Styleburg said. "It's a lot work and you make a decent living, but that's it. People go into it thinking they are going to get rich over night, but you don't. It's not going to happen."

The store is open Monday-Saturday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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  • Wishing you many many years of continued success Chris!

    -- Posted by Proud of My Country on Mon, Mar 12, 2012, at 1:54 PM
  • my dad and grandfather took me to jack's from the time i was a little boy.. they have always had great products and friendly service. thanks for the many years of continued business, with wishes for many more to come!

    -- Posted by NorvalJrJr on Sat, Mar 17, 2012, at 4:28 AM
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