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Ogeechee Meat Market centers on community, quality service
mccune family
The McClune family, founders and owners of the Ogeechee Meat Market located along Route 17. Photo provided

Before moving to Richmond Hill, I would drive home to my farm in NJ, and come up the dirt road through the pine stand and there it was–the barn. The thought, the mood was the vision of animals, a place of comfort, family, welcome–of home.

Driving down the Ogeechee Highway (Route 17), a relatively short drive from where I live now in Richmond Hill, a large black and red barn appears and I see the new Ogeechee Meat Market, all warm and welcoming. It makes me smile thinking of my barn. And what a wonderful architectural choice a barn is for a quality market! Because the symbol of a barn is welcoming to all. It also represents the land and what is sustained by it, produce and animals, meat.

A business housed in a building built to look like a barn, craftsmanship. The symbolism of a barn, unique and special, represents this store, the Ogeechee Market: a specialty grocery store, a market run by Gary and Robin McClune along with their sons Matthew and Andrew. They share both success and an ongoing journey.

A barn symbolizes many things; hard work, self sufficiency, prosperity, rectitude, sustained connection to the land. All that is sold in this store fills these definitions. The building houses incredible produce, products and provides convenience for us, their customers, “their extended family.”

From the first time you open the market door, you are always invited in with a smile, a warm hello by an accomplished staff or family member. I always feel there is interest and focus on me. I am welcomed no matter how busy the store is, people first. It feels like coming home. It feels as though they are interested in me when I come to shop. For me, the same staff, the interest, the delight in seeing the owners Gary and Robin, in Matthew and Andrew is always special.

They have moved to their new location, the “Barn” at 6011 Ogeechee Road, and will open on April 16th. April the 20th will be a fun day of welcome for all with a bouncy house, free hot dogs and hamburgers, a drawing for a grill and many surprises. As Gary said to me, “this is just an old-fashioned butcher shop. We can’t wait to share it with everyone”.

The family has had an interesting journey to this new and, hopefully, for us, final business home.

It all started with Gary and Robin in Hinesville over 25 years ago, interrupted for 5 years by Desert Storm when they went to serve their country. To grow a business they supplied restaurants, cut and delivered meat for cash flow. Driving on the Ogeechee Highway (Route 17) to deliver supplies they’d pass WalMart–the “big fish” as Robin referred to it. They saw an empty beauty parlor across the highway. They felt visibility was high so they rented it. They expanded to having the entire building. They bought the lot next door and a rug store that they have torn down to build the Barn.

Matthew had sent in his application to dental school, and Andrew was accepted to law school, but they decided instead that the market was where they belonged. They used to come to work at the market after school, when they married they brought their children to the business. The market was an extended homeplace, gathering place, a place they knew, and belonged. This was their career. They have literally seized the moment and have embarked on the journey of endless possibilities. Matthew and Andrew are the meat connoisseurs, the meat specialists.

The McClunes are always thinking, adding, growing, listening to the wants of the customer in order to provide the best product and the best experiences so that people come back. Their story starts again at their new location, embracing change, realizing their dreams. Welcome to their new home, filled with special produce and products. Adaptability, entrepreneur spirit, embracing change. They have achieved remarkable milestones and step forward to new challenges and opportunities. Robin remarked to me, “Do it right or don’t do it”.

To whet your appetite and imagination, some of what they have in store at the Market:

• Homemade fresh sausage made of premium pork in a variety of flavors, always changing

• Homemade Summer Sausage made with Black Angus beef

• Homemade Angus ground chuck patties or their famous Ogeechee Burgers made with chuck, beef brisket and bacon

• Local all natural Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fresh Fish cut at the market

• Smoked at store Beef brisket, ribs, chicken, wings meatloaf and more

• Fresh preserved locally home made jams, jellies, gourmet vegetable and fruit specialties

• Homemade pet food Ogeechee Market, it’s a family affair! They specialize in old-fashioned service in our fast-paced world. Their mission is to provide the best at the best price. Mc-Clunes, welcome to your new market!

Originally from New Jersey, Georgene Brazer now calls Richmond Hill her home. She is a current member of the the city’s Downtown Development Authority, and can be reached at

The Ogeechee Meat Market’
The Ogeechee Meat Market’s logo painted inside the building. Photo provided
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