50 Years of…Great Vendors

LGCM is turning 50 on September 20th and we’re celebrating the week of September 21st. We’re sharing memories from the past 50 years in a series of blog posts. This post is looking at 50 years of the great vendors that have helped us out at Lake Geneva Country Meats. For more information about our 50th Anniversary celebrations, please click this link to visit our 50th Anniversary page.

Three of our earliest check stubs going to vendors we've worked with for 50 years!

Three of our earliest check stubs going to vendors we’ve worked with for 50 years!

No business can make it for very long without getting a little help from vendors, and LGCM is no exception. We’d like to take some time this week to send a special thank you to our vendors who have supported and supplied us during the last 50 years. Some of our vendors we have worked with from the beginning and have businesses that are even older than ours. It’s wonderful to have 50 year relationships that continue to grow and flourish. We’d like to acknowledge everyone at ElectroKold refrigeration in Burlington for 50 years of always fixing our many coolers no matter what the time of day or weather outside these past 50 years. We’d like to thank Deignan and Associates accounting in Lake Geneva for 50 years of providing financial advice and teaching us how to actually put our money in the right places! Finally, we’d like to thank the Lake Geneva Regional News for helping us advertise our business for 50 years! You can see some of our first check stubs went to these businesses and we are happy to continue working with them today.

John Leahy (peaking over the boxes) supervising employees unloading a semi full of butcher paper.

John Leahy (peaking over the boxes) supervising employees unloading a semi full of butcher paper.

Over the past 50 years we have worked with a number of vendors who are either no longer in business or the relationship has ended. We would like to make sure to thank them for everything they have done to help our business. One of the Leahy family’s favorite memories is John’s obsession with preserving butcher paper. Our butcher paper is coated with a petroleum based compound to help lock in moisture and protect the meat from spoilage. John would always scold employees to use the minimum amount of paper to properly wrap a product saying “it’s a petroleum product you know!” To save money, John would buy trailers full of paper from John Zralek of the HP Smith company to get the biggest bulk savings he would. For weeks, our building would be crammed with boxes of paper in every imaginable place until we started to use it up.

Nick with Kenny and Melissa from WLKG on Customer Appreciation Day 2013.

Nick with Kenny and Melissa from WLKG on Customer Appreciation Day 2013.

Aging memories and lack of experience on Nick’s part means that we can’t remember everyone over the past 50 years, but we want to make sure we thank those vendors who are continuing to help us grow today. One of the ways we are growing is with the help of our fabulous marketing partners. Regal Creative in Milwaukee built this website and has done so much more to transform our digital presence. Thank you Kyle, Andrew & Team; we cannot imagine working with a better group of partners. WLKG radio has helped give a voice (ha ha) to our store in the Lake Geneva area. Thank you to Tom, Nancy, all the salespeople, all the on-air talent, and, of course, Erin, for everything you do for us! We have numerous partners in print advertising from Judy at CSI to everyone at NEI-Turner Media and other local publications. Thanks for helping us look pretty! Speaking of looking pretty, a good portion of the product photography we use was done by Beth Ehlert. Thanks Beth for your help!

This is Aunt Dee. She makes our secret cherry seasoning. She married Rita's brother Kieran. She's pretty awesome.

This is Aunt Dee. She makes our secret cherry seasoning. She married Rita’s brother Kieran. She’s pretty awesome.

All of the advertising in the world wouldn’t mean a thing without great products and we have great partners on the product side of our business. We would first like to thank the Kalscheur family, as well as Brad and the rest of the sales staff at UW Provisions for helping us acquire the best meat we can get for our fresh meat case. Chuck from Bimbo Bread has always helped us out whenever we need bread, and Ricky Lee and the entire team behind him at Buckhead and company have helped us immeasurably as we grow our product offerings. We have numerous suppliers for spices and casings that are too numerous to thank but we want them to know we appreciate them all. If we did have to name a favorite seasoning provider, however, it would have to be Rita’s sister-in-law Dee Powers who provides us the top secret cherry seasoning that we use for our family recipe Cherry Brats. She also makes fabulous candy and if you ever have the chance to enjoy Power’s Candy, don’t miss out! We’d also like to thank  the people who supply the “stuff” to package our products. Loren from Rocket Industrial has always gotten us the supplies we need, when we need them and Dave (and his much better half Heidi) from Tempac has been a tremendous helping in getting beautiful labels for our products.

With as much equipment in our building, stuff is bound to break, and we have a number of “go to” people we’d like to thank for always being on call to get us back to operational. Our cousins at Vorpagel Service in Burlington always keep our heating and cooling at the right temperature, while the Weidert team keeps our lights on! PATS Sanitary Service and Huemann Well Service make sure everything goes away properly, which is a big deal in our business! We’d also like to thank all of our “gut guys” over the years for doing the dirty job of hauling away our waste. Finally, Tim at Statewide Equipment, Pete from Poly-Clip and Gary from PCS have been great helping us get offline equipment back online.

From L-R, Matt Larse of Town Bank, Governor Scott Walker, Mike Jackson of Town Bank, and Scott Vorpagel of LGCM at the Governor's 4H Blue Ribbon Auction at the WI State Fair with our award for Best in Show product!

From L-R, Matt Larse of Town Bank, Governor Scott Walker, Mike Jackson of Town Bank, and Scott Vorpagel of LGCM at the Governor’s 4H Blue Ribbon Auction at the WI State Fair with our award for Best in Show product!

Finally, we’d like to thank some our professional service vendors. From Town Bank, Mike Jackson, along with his able assistant Donna, have provided us with expert banking services, as well as joined us in supporting the Governor’s 4H Blue Ribbon auctions at State Fair. Finally, Greg at M3 Insurance has helped us insure our business when some companies wouldn’t ever dream of insuring a butcher shop, and Tom at Ansay & Associates has helped us provide and understand health insurance options in a constantly changing world!

There is no way we could possibly name all of our vendors, but we do appreciate you all. There is always the chance of forgetting someone when you try and list people to thank, but we wanted to make sure we did thank as many of our vendors who go the extra mile for us as possible. If you slipped our mind in this blog post, please don’t feel left out, please, send us an email or leave us a comment with some favorite memories. We’d love to acknowledge you too.

For more on LGCM’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, please visit our 50 Year page.

You may also like...

2015 In Review

2015 has been quite the year at LGCM - our 50th in business! Take a look back at the year that was with us and…

50 Years of...Great Customers!

LGCM is turning 50 on September 20th and we’re celebrating the week of September 21st. We’re sharing memories from the past 50 years in a…