Descending from first-generation German immigrant William Christian “Papa Bill” Rodenbeck, the store sits on the property he first purchased in 1946. Papa Bill was a butcher and sausage maker, who also operated a restaurant, feed mill, concrete mill, and night club. His son, Marvin “Dusty” Rodenbeck, operated a hog farm, and butchered his own hogs to make the locally famous Rodenbeck Sausage. In 2008, Papa Bill’s great grandson Trey Felton purchased the property, and in 2011, the current Meat Market was built.
Papa Bill Rodenbeck was the quintessential entrepreneur. He dreamed up ideas and built them. Whether it was his own sausage recipes, a concrete mill, or a smoker - the man was nearly a legend around Thorndale.
BBQ is a way of life in Central Texas, and Thorndale is no exception. The Feltons and Rodenbecks have been smoking meats and BBQing since they arrived in the area as far back as the late 1800's.
Our goal is to stay true to the way of our ancestors - butchering and sausage making of Papa Bill, carried on by his son Marvin and wife Millie. Quality comes from a handmade, artisan approach to everything we do. No mass production. No cost cutting. No filler. No additives or preservatives.
Central Texas is the home of great BBQ. We maintain that legacy with our fleet of BBQ pits fashioned from the hands of welders right here in Thorndale, Texas. Every single seasoning and sauce is made from scratch in-store. No commercially made smokers. No gas. Nothing fancy. Sliced in front of you. Eat here, take it To Go, or have us cater your event.
Our meat counters are stocked fresh, daily, with cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. We offer USDA Prime Beef, All Natural 44 FARMS Angus Beef, Betsy Ross Grassfed Beef, Heartbrand Akaushi, as well as in-house Dry Aged steaks. We make our own smoked, no nitrates added bacon in-house, and carry Holmes All natural chicken from the Texas Hill Country. No additives. No pre-packaged meats.
We carry USDA Prime cuts, bone-in or boneless: Ribeye, Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Porterhouse and T-bone. We Dry Age steaks in-house up to 60 days, as well as cold-smoke certain cuts 48 hours for a marvelous flavor you can't get anywhere else. We'll hand cut to your exact specification.
Even the most demanding food snobs will find it hard to stump us. We always have at least 2 experienced butchers on-site who will cut, season, smoke, or cook any piece of meat you'd like.
COMING SOON - We're renovating the old Feed Mill and have added an elevated stage for Live Music.
The Felton family is deeply rooted in Milam County, going back 150 years. When the opportunity arose for Frank “Trey” Felton III to pursue the family feed store business, he jumped at the opportunity. With a passion for food and cooking, it wasn’t long until Trey opened a meat market on the property, selling hand cut steaks, handmade sausages and craft BBQ.
Central Texas was once known for its meat market-style barbecue joints, i.e. meat markets that had a barbecue business on the side. Many of those places are gone, or they have converted into barbecue-only businesses. A few holdouts remain, including one shining example: the Thorndale Meat Market.
This is just a little further down US 79 from Taylor and it's the real deal. I describe this as Taylor-style BBQ without the crowds or hassle. It's one of the more interesting BBQ road trip stops as well -- it's BBQ served from a combination butcher shop and small grocery.