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WISCONSIN MEAT INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME

 

Louis E. Muench

Louis E. Muench

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Louis E. Muench

Louis E. Muench, President of Louie’s Finer Meats, Inc., was born to Louis, Sr. and Doris Muench on
June 16, 1954.  In 1963, the Muench family moved to Cumberland, Wisconsin, from Chicago where
Louie Sr. worked as a meat cutter. He took a position with The Company Store in Cumberland, WI as
the Meat Department Manager.  In 1970, Louie's Finer Meats opened its doors in a small building in
Cumberland and in 1978 expanded and moved to its present location.  Since this move, the building
has been expanded three times as the business has grown.

As with many of the great meat processors in Wisconsin and across the nation, Louis E. grew up
with the business.  He graduated from Cumberland High School in 1972.  He attended UW-Barron
County and earned an Associate’s Degree in 1974.  Later he would be recognized as the first
recipient of the UW-Barron County Distinguished Alumni award and he currently serves on the UW-
Barron County Foundation.  He graduated from the Butcher’s Program at SW WI Vo-Tech in
Fennimore in 1975.  He then proceeded to attend UW-River Falls where he earned a B.S. degree
with a double major in Food Science and Biology.

While Louis E. completed college, the business was still located in the original downtown building.
His father decided that they would move to a larger building if Louis decided to join the
business…and that he did.  While the product line was initially limited, it has continually grown over
the years under Louis’ vision and direction.  Louis always sought innovation in product development,
including exploring the use of unique non-meat ingredients long before such ingredients were
common.  Louie’s Finer Meats won its first Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors best-of-show
award in 1991 for Wisconsin Summer Sausage, which includes cranberries, cheddar cheese, maple
syrup and honey.

Louis has had a positive effect on the Wisconsin and national meat industry in numerous ways. He
has been committed to product innovation and development across a broad range of product
categories, which has benefited the meat industry as a whole.  His ongoing commitment to quality
and product innovation has led to Louie’s Finer Meats being recognized with over 300 awards at the
state, national, and international levels across the full spectrum of product categories, including fresh
sausage, smoked sausage, hams, innovative items, and marinated products.  Top honors include
three Governor’s Trophies at the state level and 11 medals at the international level. 

In addition, he has been always willing to share knowledge, ideas and technology with students and
other meat processors, whether through formal workshops or casual conversation.  In the infancy
stages of Wisconsin developing HACCP programs, Louie’s Finer Meats worked with the Wisconsin
Department of Agriculture as a pilot plant.  He has selflessly given his time to instruct others at
seminars in conjunction with UW-River Falls, UW-Madison, Minnesota Association of Meat
Processors, Cumberland High School, American Association of Meat Processors, SW Minnesota
State University, South Dakota State University, American Meat Science Association, and
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.  The breadth and depth of Louis’ meat processing knowledge is
remarkable and highly coveted by his peers, making him one of the most respected teachers of his
craft.

Louis has served repeatedly as a product show judge for the Minnesota Association of Meat
Processors and the South Dakota Association of Meat Processors because of his thorough
knowledge of processed meats.  Additionally, he has served as director and vice president of the
American Association of Meat Processors and director and president of the Wisconsin Association
of Meat Processors.  He was inducted into the American Association of Meat Processors Cured
Meats Hall of Fame in 2003.  He has encouraged industry-wide innovation through these many
activities, whether through professional workshops or involving local high school students in meat
product development contests.

Louis has served his community selflessly over the years.  He served as the Scoutmaster of
Cumberland’s Troop 24 for 25 years assisting 28 scouts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  He is
active in Anthony’s parish, Island City Research Academy, Enrichment Through Culture (ETC), and
Cumberland Kiwanis.  Louis and his wife Barbara were recognized as the Cumberland Chamber of
Commerce Citizens of the Year.  This honor was, in part, because of “Louie’s Brat Haus” which is a
portable food stand that is provided as a fundraiser for non-profit organizations each weekend.

Three of the six Muench children have followed in Louis Sr.’s footsteps.  Louis E. and two brothers,
James and William have dedicated their careers to the continued success of Louie's Finer Meats.
Louis E. Muench is married to Barbara and has three children, Louis K., Heidi and Eric, and they
currently reside in Cumberland, WI.  His sons, Louis K. and Eric are also actively involved in the
business.

For his contributions to the meat industry, to his fellow meat processors and to his community, we
are proud to induct Louis E. Muench into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

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