Since 1968, Archers Meats and Catering has served Fishers at the same downtown location at 8655 E 116th St. On Sept. 2, the Fishers location closed its doors for good.
“The main reason we closed is because of my husband’s health,” Michele Archer said. “He is 76 years old, and it’s time to close. It’s time for him to retire. He’s been working 51 years.”
“I’m getting tired of the work,” Ron Archer said. “Everything comes to an end. It was a wonderful ride.”
Ron lived near a meat processing plant as a child and began working at the plant in 1957, when he was 16. Archers Meats and Catering was originally opened in Zionsville before moving to Fishers in 1968. There also is a Greenwood store, which will remain open. It is run by the Archers’ son, Christopher. The Archers’ other son, Kenneth, also works at the Greenwood location.
Throughout its tenure, Archer’s was a slaughter and processing plant. Farmers would bring beef to have it slaughtered and processed in downtown Fishers. Michele said the relationship with Archer’s and the city was unique and remained strong throughout the business’s run.
“What I can say about this is, this could not happen to us if Mayor (Scott) Fadness did not help us so much in this project,” she said. “Having a meat processing plant is very difficult in a town, and not once did the city ever give us any problems with having a processing plant in downtown Fishers. The city has been wonderful throughout the years, letting this processing plant be in the middle of Fishers. When it was time to leave, they were very supportive.”
Archer’s was Fishers’ oldest downtown business. The Archers also own the Riviera Maya building next door. Both buildings were sold to developer Corby Thompson. According to Michele, the block will be turned into a retail development. She said Riviera Maya will return after the development is complete, but Archer’s will not.
As far as retirement goes, Michele said she wants to do lots of volunteer work. She said she Ron will likely pursue golf and fishing. The couple will continue living in Fishers.
“It’s important for people to realize it’s time for a new generation. We’ve done our thing,” Michele said. “The baby boomers have done our thing. It’s time for the new generation. We want to make room for the new generation, and we are very supportive for new growth in downtown Fishers.”
To continue receiving quality meat and service, Michele urges all Archers customers to go to the Greenwood location, 259 S Meridian St., for their meat.
“Go to Greenwood,” she said. “If you want to slaughter beef or cattle or goats or lambs, go to Greenwood. That’s where we will be.”
Before entering retirement, the Archers removed all the meat out from the freezer and donated it to food pantry organizations. It was delivered to residents in need when the Fishers location closed. Michele said the total exceeded several thousand pounds.
When the business was open, it often donated meat to food pantries as well, such as Gleaner’s Food Bank and church pantries.
“I volunteer with helping a lot of seniors right now that can’t go to the store by themselves,” Michele said. “I assist them right now. There are a lot of people out there that just can’t help themselves, and that’s my goal right now, to help people.
“If my husband and I see that we get bored after retirement and open up a small meat market, we might be back,” she said. “You just never know what the future holds.”