DAVIS JUNCTION — Headon’s Fine Meats Owner Mark Hibshman said Thursday that his business will be opening a second location in Davis Junction at the end of this month.
The second Headon’s will be located inside a new Benny’s Corner Market just west of the intersection of Illinois Route 251 and Illinois Route 72. Benny’s is another Rochelle business that is adding another location in Davis Junction.
In past years, Headon’s used to work with Sean Considine, a Byron native and Super Bowl champion football player, and had a mobile meat truck that would set up shop in the area in Davis Junction, Stillman Valley, Oregon and Byron. HIbshman said since then, Headon’s has seen a lot of customers from that area and has heard comments about the desire for another location.
Hibshman and his co-owner, his son Justin, had already had conversations about a location in the area before talks started with Benny’s Owner Tim Hayden. Headon’s sells a lot of its products at the Benny’s location in Rochelle.
“He said he was opening a new location and asked if I wanted a portion of it,” Hibshman said. “I said we wanted to put one out there anyways, and it just kind of all came together. Basically we’ll have about 800 square feet in the back and it's going to be part of the store. The store is going to be very well set up. Our area is going to look like a small version of Headon's. We're going to have the antiques up there and an awning out in front of the inside area. Memorial Day weekend is the targeted date right now.”
The Hibshmans took over ownership of Headon’s in Creston just over a year ago after longtime Owner Lyle Headon retired and sold the business. The name and recipes of the shop have stayed the same since.
Hibshman called the opportunity to open a second location “awesome.” The Davis Junction shop will have fresh meat brought to it each day along with frozen brats, burgers and hot dogs. There will be limited deli items like pre-packaged potato salad and local items like vinegar and oil will be sold as well.
“Lyle is actually pretty excited about it because it was always one of his dreams to have multiple locations,” Hibshman said. “Hopefully this is the start of getting a couple more going in the future as well. It's kind of funny, you know the rumor mill flies around. There were rumors that our Creston shop was going to close down. I'm like, 'No way. We would never shut this down.' It's been a good year.”
Headon’s in Creston recently received a liquor license and has been able to add that type of inventory. The location is holding street fairs on the first and third Saturday of each month through September. Hibshman said it's been good to bring people into the shop and the Village of Creston.
The biggest thing about the second location that excites Hibshman is the chance to sell to people in a new area where Headon’s has a “big following.” Outside of Benny's locations and at the Creston shop, the only other places to get Headon’s products are at Polo Fresh Market and ExpressLane, which are at a lot of the Shell and BP gas stations. Benny’s in Davis Junction will be the only non-Creston location with fresh meat.
While the Hibshmans did not own Headon’s during the most dire times of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said they still saw effects over the past year.
“Being able to see our customers' smiling faces again and being able to actually talk and everything, it's great,” Hibshman said. “I think if the pandemic was still going on the way it was, I don't know that we would've been able to open up another location. It's definitely nice that all that has eased up."
In preparation for the new location, Hibshman said the Headon’s brat machine has been running “pretty much all day long” to get stock built up. Over the next couple of weeks it will be “crunch time” with decorating and preparing the Davis Junction shop.
People in the Davis Junction area and Ogle County that are unfamiliar with Headon’s that come to the location can expect the same type of business that the Creston shop has done for decades.
“You're always going to have a fresh cut of meat,” Hibshman said. “We only use the top beef. We'll have different flavors of brats out there. We have 57 flavors we carry now. And all of our stuff is all-natural. We don't use any preservatives in our beef sticks or brats and that's a key thing. Our beef strips and poultry items and all that are all fresh and top grade. We're going to have the same thing. Just all the unique stuff that you don't get in the big box store."