Green Bay meat processing facility attracts different set of customers during coronavirus situation

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 4:07 PM CDT
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From schools and businesses to people at home, everyone is adapting to a new normal amid the coronavirus situation. For one local company, that entails expanding its reach.

High quality, fresh meat has been the cornerstone of business for Melotte Distributing since the 1970s.

"My sister and I and my brother-in-law we're the second generation business. We're a USDA federally inspected meat processor, but also a distribution company to local HRI business, hotel, restaurant and institution," says Barry Melotte.

But with clients like bars and restaurants closed, hotels empty of visitors, and sporting venues sitting idled, melotte distributing's business has slowed down significantly.

Melotte says, "Only the restaurants that have a drive-thru or can manage some sort of takeout are still doing. And honestly, our largest customers, the caterers, the hotels, with the exception of medial facilities, of course, aren't doing business at all."

With fresh product to sell, but its regular customers not looking to buy, Melotte Distributing, which has only ever done counter sales through word of mouth - found itself in a unique position.

"It was friends and family that were reaching out to us because many of the grocers and the retail outlets were out of product and they had gone back two and three times and finally just called us and said can we buy it over the counter," says Melotte.

So, just this week, on its website, Melotte Distributing has opened an online store. It's stocking nearly 20 meat staples that can be ordered online and available for customers via curbside pick up at both its Green Bay and Denmark locations.

While this isn't how the decades old company is used to doing business, it says as long as customers are happy, it will continue to provide protein for the dinner table.

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