If you notice a little extra traffic on 5 Mile Road in Livonia, you can thank the owners of Roperti’s Turkey Farm.
Each year beginning 3-4 days before Thanksgiving, the business begins to boom as families flock from all over looking to buy a fresh turkey.
The family-owned business has sold turkeys since 1948, which means the farm predates Livonia itself.
A lot has changed over the past several decades, including traffic up and down the road where the farm sits.
“I was driving my tractor down 5 Mile when I was 10,” said Christine Roperti, pointing out it was a two-lane dirt road in those days.
When her Dad began selling turkeys roughly 50 would be sold each year. This year Roperti will sell approximately 4,000.
Amazingly, she can recall her regular customers as if reciting the alphabet.
“There is this one guy he comes from Mackinac Island,” said Roperti. “He comes every year. There’s someone that comes from Toledo, and there’s a lady that comes from Indiana.”
If that doesn’t give you an idea of how big the operation has grown, just look for Kevin Jordan. Jordan is one of Roperti's workers. He spends the entire day directing traffic as hundreds of cars come and go in a matter of hours.
“Oh it’s fun,” said Jordan, when asked about the work.
He made it a point to shout-out: “See you next year!” to a customer as they jumped into their truck.
“This place comes highly recommended,” said Timothy Zammitt, one of the dozen or more people who were waiting in line for a turkey.
Two people further up in line was Amy Karadsheh. She has been buying her turkey from Roperti for more than 30 years.
“They’re nice and juicy,” said Karadsheh. “Tasty! I just enjoy it. The whole family likes it.”
That’s music to the ears of Roperti. While she’s the second-generation of the family-owned business, she wants to see it continue to thrive for years to come.
Her sons work at the farm before Thanksgiving, but she thinks her grandkids may be the ones who eventually take over.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” asked Roperti, pointing to a 23 pound turkey.
Before long she was back in the main storefront ushering people inside, and moving the line along as she greeted a handful of customers.
Certainly, a lot has changed over the years — but those who were in line told 7 Action News that the service has always been top-notch.
Roperti's Turkey Farm is a seasonal operation. They began selling this year’s birds on Saturday, and will close up shop for Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. on Wednesday night. If they have additional turkeys left over they may sell them for Christmas, but with more than 1,000 being sold on Monday there’s no guarantee they’ll have stock leftover.