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CHICAGO (CBS) — A famous Chicago name went on the auction block Wednesday, and it was sold to the highest bidder for more than a half million dollars.
The three Moo & Oink stores on the South and West sides closed over the summer, but the name will live on.
Best Chicago Meats bid $530,000 for the rights to the brand name.
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“I am very proud again to keep the brand in Chicago,” said Best Chicago Meats CEO Bob Beavers. “Now, to have it to be an African-American owned brand, I am kind of proud of that.”
The stores will not be reopened, because nobody wanted to bid on them. Instead, Best Chicago Meats will be coming out with Moo & Oink products, including ribs, chitterlings and barbecue sauce at stores in Chicago and
Best Chicago Meats already making some of the products for the store, under the Moo & Oink label.
“It’s an excellent fit. We think the prospects to grow this brand outside the Chicagoland area are quite interesting,” Beavers said. “Markets like Detroit, Milwaukee, Birmingham and Atlanta; we think there are a number of markets that this would be a perfect fit.”
Moo & Oink has been an iconic part of the African-American community.
Their catchy commercials with the signature “Moo & Oink” jingle have been grabbing shoppers for years.
Mary Steele worked for Moo & Oink for nearly 30 years.
“I’m sad it had to come this way, because the years that I had into the company, we made the company,” she said. “I just hope whoever buy it will employ some of the employees back, will bring some of them back.”
David Van Kampen, President and Chief Operating Officer of Best Chicago Meats said, “Hopefully within the next six months we can start growing that employee base and rehire some of those people.”
If that happens, the employees would have a lot of work on their hands. The goal of Best Chicago Meats is to expand the Moo and Oink brand, beyond meats to include things like sauces, seasonings and even vegetables.
After it was placed under bankruptcy protection, it was reported that Moo & Oink’s top 20 creditors are owed a collective total of $6.4 million.