February 19, 2015

Donna Pittman Keeps Curt’s Meats Famous

No Inter-City business has stood the test of time like Curt's Famous Meats.  For 68 years people in the Inter-City have counted on Curt's to bring them specialty cuts of meat that can't be found in many 21st century grocery stores.  From steak to lamb to frog's legs and more, the market in Maywood that the late Curtis Jones opened in 1947 continues to provide fresh, hand-cut meats to families around the Inter-City and beyond.  They sell meat bundles that feature a variety of meats and cuts at a large discount, and Curt’s serves lunch every day.

At the helm of this iconic landmark is Donna Pittman, who had to persuade a reluctant Mr. Jones to sell his business to a woman in 1989.  Not only did she succeed in keeping Curtis Jones' business alive, but she made Curt's Meats even more famous than it already was, competing in regional and national barbecue competitions and winning dozens of awards, including nine American Royal wins.  The name of the store was officially changed to "Curt's Famous Meats" in 2004, and is becoming even more famous for its staff of “Lady Meat Cutters,” women who don’t like to be called butchers but who cut meat skillfully in a way Curtis Jones may not have thought possible when he reluctantly sold his meat market to a lady back in 1989.

   Donna Pittman grew up in Independence on Main Street. The St. Mary’s graduate has spent decades working to improve the city and the lives of the people who live here.  This list of charities and community organizations she has donated her time and resources to is too long for this article, but she’s been recognized many times for her service to the community.

   She founded the Maywood Merchants Association in 2004, which a few years ago evolved into the Truman Gateway Redevelopment Committee, of which she’s the chairman.   The change was made so as to include more of the Inter-City area in the improvements the group is trying to effect, such as affordable housing, better sidewalks and transportation options, infrastructure repairs, beautification, and other general improvements.

     "With the increased building and demand for housing in Kansas City, we want to provide an attractive, more affordable alternative for people in the area to live," she says.  Pittman fully supports County Executive Mike Sanders’ commuter rail plan to connect Independence with the other cities in the Metropolitan area.

   The Truman Gateway group meets every other month in the Independence Chamber of Commerce board room.  The next meeting will be March 10 at 1:30 p.m.   Everyone is welcome to attend.  For more information on the organization contact Lindsay Browne at LBrowne@kclinc.org or stop by Curt’s Market and talk to Donna.

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