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Munchy’s Meat Market Opens to Meet Demand

story and photos by Cody Moore

Munchy’s Specialty Sandwiches, owned by Jonesboro residents Jeffrey Higgins and Brian Biggs, recently introduced the Munchy’s Meat Market, a new addition to the sandwich shop that allows the community to purchase an array of deli-style meats, cheeses and breads while supporting local business.

When former Munchy’s owner Tom Fielder announced that he was closing the popular sandwich shop in February 2018, both Higgins and Biggs decided to partner together in order to keep the Jonesboro staple alive. The two officially took over Munchy’s in March 2018, and the rest is history.

“Revitalizing Munchy’s has been great because locals want to see these staples around forever,” said Higgins. “Brian and I felt like we could do our part to help make that happen. I really enjoy talking to the people that were so excited about Munchy’s staying around and listening to their stories and memories they’ve had with Munchy’s over the past 45 years.”

“It truly has been a great two years for us,” said Biggs. “Munchy’s has been revived and is now as popular as ever before.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, some local businesses decided to close their doors temporarily, while others changed their hours of operation and began to offer curbside pick-up and delivery services, which allowed them to obey the mandate to social distance while also trying to stay afloat.

“As a staple in town, we only felt right to do whatever we could to stay open during the pandemic,” said Biggs.

“We felt we had very safe practices in place, and if we honored those, we could keep the person-to-person contact to a minimum,” added Higgins.

Higgins and Biggs both express the importance of supporting local businesses like Munchy’s at this time, since they are the ones that will be hit the hardest during the pandemic.

“Munchy’s, like other small businesses, fully depends on local people supporting them,” said Biggs. “Unlike chain restaurants and businesses, we don’t have corporate monies to help us. Each penny spent in a local business goes to support our employees who work and live in this community.”

“If we want to keep these locally-run places around, we have to support them when the hard times come,” added Higgins. “Jonesboro has been great to us, and the only way we are still open is because of their support.”

Local businesses have not only had to alter the way they perform day-to-day tasks, but have also began to offer new amenities that bring in more income during these tough times.

Though Munchy’s is currently offering all of its menu items, the establishment also introduced the Munchy’s Meat Market last month, giving locals the opportunity to purchase fresh, deli-style meats, cheeses and breads while supporting a local business.

“Jeffrey had the great idea to start the Munchy’s Meat Market, so we introduced it and it has been a huge success,” said Biggs. “We had noticed a need for fresh cut meats because the supermarkets were running so low on supplies, and we had the product, so we decided to fill that need.”

Higgins said that because of the tough times, they had to get creative.

“We already slice all of our meats in-house, and we have the packaging in-house, so honestly it really was a no-brainer,” said Higgins.

The Munchy’s Meat Market offers an array of Munchy’s popular deli meats, including smoked ham, hickory smoked turkey, premium roast beef, corned beef and more. Cheeses that are offered include cheddar, pepper jack, provolone, monetary jack, mozzarella, smoked cheddar and American. The market also offers fresh breads available in white, wheat, marble or Hawaiian hoagie buns. All meats and cheeses are sold by the pound, while the breads are sold in packs of six.

“We have had great success selling our turkey, Cajun turkey and corned beef,” said Biggs. “Our cheeses have been going great, too.”

Because of the success of the Munchy’s Meat Market, Munchy’s has decided to keep the market running permanently.
“We have received great support from the community on the market,” said Biggs. “We are seeing a lot of people come and get their favorite Munchy’s steamed sandwich and adding on a pound of meat to take home for later.”

Because Munchy’s is fortunate enough to have a drive-thru window, customers can call in and pick up their favorite Munchy’s menu items, as well as their market orders, without getting out of their vehicles and with little human contact.

“People have been so helpful in supporting local business now, just as they have in the past,” said Biggs. “I feel that’s why we have been in business for 45-plus years … and we do have a pretty good sandwich.”

The Munchy’s owners look forward to the day that their restaurant can open its doors once again and can continue to be a space for the community to gather and create memories for generations to come.

“My hope is that we carry on a tradition that some very great ownership carried for many years,” said Higgins. “I take pride in the sacrifices that they made for 45 years, and I promise we won’t take that responsibility lightly.

“I also look forward to bringing new customers to Munchy’s and getting new Arkansas State students to come in and dine, that way they can bring their kids and grandkids back and tell stories just like we hear our customers doing every day.”

Munchy’s Specialty Sandwiches is located at 1320 S. Caraway Rd. and is currently open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. To keep up with announcements, hour changes or for more information on Munchy’s Meat Market, find the restaurant on Facebook or call (870) 932-5360.