At the turn of the century, Pete and Barbara Emge, a couple with a knack for bringing out the great taste of quality meats, purchases a retail meat shop in Fort Branch, Indiana.
Over the four years, Peter and Barbara invented new delicious recipes for Sausage, Hot Dogs, and Bologna and developed unique techniques for curing flavorful Bacon and Ham.
By 1906, the success of the Emge Meat Shop’s rapidly growing wholesale business required larger facilities. In that year, Peter Emge purchased a 40-acre tract of land on the southwest edge of Fort Branch. Emge Packing Company was located on that land until 1999.
After World War I, demand for the Emge products increased, and a curing and cooler building was added to the production facilities. In September of 1922, fire destroyed a major portion of the plant. However, rebuilding began immediately and the business was able to resume limited operations by January of 1923.
In 1924, the Retail Meat Shop downtown was sold, and full attention devoted to the wholesale business. Salespeople were hired to cover the Vincennes and Evansville areas.
Because of Emge’s increased popularity, the processing facilities needed to comply with Federal Meat Inspection standards. Throughout the early 1930’s, building were planned and added until, in 1935. Federal Meat Inspection was granted, and the first Emge meat products bearing the Federal Inspection Number 205 were produced and sold. Emge products could now be sold in any of the 48 states, and sales routes and territories were expanded to include Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky.
During the Second World War, a large percentage of Emge’s production was taken over by the Federal Government for distribution to troops throughout the world. After the war, additional sales areas were added in Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Emge incorporated in 1947, and in 1949, purchased a packing plant in Anderson, Indiana. Again distribution increased, this time including Northern Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.
In November of 1990, Excel Corporation, a market leader in Fresh Beef and Fresh Pork, acquired Emge Packing Company. Excel in turn is a division of Cargill, a worldwide agribusiness and commodities manufacturer and distributor.
In December 1997, the Emge brand name and quality recipes were acquired by Emge Foods, LLC an Indiana owned and operated enterprise.
On January 24, 2013, Emge Foods, LLC was acquired by Peer Foods Group, Inc. Peer Foods Group plans to fully support and grow the Emge brand of products. Through Peer Foods Group, Inc's shared product line, customers can now purchase Emge, Mariah and Peer Foods labels on one order and delivery.