MILES - Around these parts, folks will make the trip to Miles just to pick up their meat from Sklenarik's Smoked Meats in Miles. It is a true smokehouse and butcher shop which specializes not only in making their famous jerky, but also in custom processing for beef, pork, lamb and goat. Plus, they are famous for their German sausage and summer sausage.

MILES - Around these parts, folks will make the trip to Miles just to pick up their meat from Sklenarik’s Smoked Meats in Miles. It is a true smokehouse and butcher shop which specializes not only in making their famous jerky, but also in custom processing for beef, pork, lamb and goat. Plus, they are famous for their German sausage and summer sausage.

Sklenarik’s Smoked Meats, located at 108 South Robinson St. was chosen as the Business of the Month for March by the Ballinger Area Chamber of Commerce.

Owner Paul Sklenarik has been in the business since 1985, after he purchased the business from Bob and Betty Kvapil.

They installed the first smokehouse in 1992 and jerky was the first product they put out and these days they say, it is “the best jerky we think a person could want.”

Now Sklenarik’s produces over 12,000 pounds of jerky a year.

Each day, Sklenarik and his brother Mark, are busy from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most days Mark is in the back, processing for customers or making jerky while Paul, handles the “pen pushing.”

They have four other employees, who on this day were busy processing beef for a customer, which entails cutting the meat, wrapping it and freezing it. They also help with the jerky making.

“The meat is frozen for about 24 hours then the customer picks it up,” Paul said.

Paul, a 1980 graduate of Miles High School, worked at the meat market throughout his high school years.

“I went off to college for a few years and came back and bought the place,” Paul explained.

Since he purchased the business, he has expanded from the former retail space to a newer larger one which he put in in 1991. This is where Chel’C Rankin, helps customers select meats from the coolers and takes orders.

In the back, he has three smokers where he uses a blend of mesquite and hickory sawdust to smoke the sausages and jerky. Two of the smokers will handle up to 1,000 pounds of sausage and the other will smoke up to 2,000 pounds of sausage.

Paul said his recipes for sausage and jerky come from trial and error and learning from other processors.

“They come from a little bit of everyone’s recipes,” Paul said.

The German sausage comes in a variety of flavors including regular, jalapeno and cheese, cheese and a new variety, green chile and Swiss cheese. The jerky, which Sklenarik’s started making in 1992, comes in regular, hot and Ghost pepper flavors. They also make turkey jerky.

On any given day, customers can purchase steaks, pork chops and a variety of ribs. Sklenarik’s is known for its specially cured and seasoned bacon as well.

Paul is a member of the Texas Association of Meat Processors and the American Association of Meat Processors. He’s also known around the community as the chairman of the cook-off at annual Miles Cotton Fest.

He said he was very honored to have been named Business of the Month.

“It was quite a surprise,” he said.