A local company has been providing Peoria with meats for over 60 years. Alwan and Sons has been open since 1957 and the family business is still going strong today.
Michelle Alwan, human resource manager, explained that the store’s origin began when her father immigrated from Lebanon after World War II.
“They didn’t speak the language and their uncle had a grocery store on the south side of Peoria and they were working in it,” Alwan said.
Then, one day their grandfather saw a grocery store was for sale and made a decision that would change the trajectory of the family.
“My grandfather bought it and gave it to his two sons,” Alwan said. “So, they opened it and began selling meat and groceries. It was a smaller store and then things kind of expanded from there. But a lot of hard work, nothing happened overnight, and that’s how it all kind of began.”
Alwan and Sons prides itself on its customer service. Alwan said people have been coming to the market since they opened, feeling like they are at home with people they can rely on for recipes and special spices.
“They call a lot for recipe ideas and cooking instructions for things … but they kind of see us as the expert in that area,” Alwan said. “And we do what we can to help them. We always have some good and easy recipes for people to follow whether they’re grilling or cooking meat in their own kitchen.”
Additionally, during the spring, summer and fall, the company fires up their outdoor grill to cook meats such as burgers, steaks, ribeye steak sandwiches and pork chops.
They also have specialty meats such as ox tail, pig’s feet, chicken paws, chicken gizzards, cow tongue and beef cheeks.
Overall, the most satisfaction Alwan receives is in seeing how the family business has developed over the years, and is looking forward to grill season.
“It’s nice to see that and be a part of that and to see where even the next generation is going to take it even further I hope,” Alwan said. “It’s nice to see how things are moving and going in a positive direction.”
Alwan and Sons Meat Company is located at 703 E. War Memorial Drive in Peoria Heights. They are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday and provide catering for events such as corporate functions, weddings and school events.