The Polyface Buying Club is a unique and successful system of serving customers. Customers place their orders online through the Buying Club website. We receive their orders, weigh, process, and pack them (referred to as “load-up”), and the orders stored in the freezer. On a designated day, they are delivered to a drop site where customers meet our Polyface driver, Richard Morris, to pick up their order.
Many people make the Polyface Buying Club a success, from accounting, answering emails, product inventory, organizing the website, and distribution. I work specifically on freezer inventory and organization. We deliver to a drop site every five weeks, and because of the number of drop sites, there are two load-ups per week.
I thought it would be fun to share with you specifically how we put together a load-up. It’s kind of like “behind-the-scenes” to getting product to our customers!
This week we were blessed with a visit from apprentice Eric Barth’s family. Laura, the oldest daughter in their family, was gracious and photographed Eric and I as we did our work. She helped out a great deal during load-up when we were short-staffed, too!
So, here is our day:
The walk-in fridge and freezer:
Eric and I bundle up in our winter coats and gloves, although it’s already a warm morning. We gather boxes and head into the chilly freezer (notice the temperature!).
The amounts of each product needed for the day’s load-up are printed on a sheet, known as the pick sheet. I read off the amounts, Eric counts and organizes the meat in boxes, and I check it off.
I keep the pen’s ink from freezing by keeping it in my mouth….
Besides the walk-in freezer, we also have two reefer units that we converted into more freezer space. Eric drives the truck around and we load-up more meat for load-up.
note: no, eggs are not in our freezer. 🙂
We sometimes use egg boxes to store meat.
The truck load is unloaded at the sales building.
This is our packing room. We store coolers for load-ups here, and we process orders here as well. Once the cuts of meat are counted and boxed up, Eric and I haul them into the packing room.
Jackie manages and processes the orders for the load-up. We couldn’t do it without her! 🙂
She calls out each individual order, and Eric and I gather, weigh, and pack the meat in coolers.
We have had anywhere from 40-160 orders per load-up.
Once all of the orders are processed and packed, they are stored in the walk-in freezer.
On the morning of the delivery, the apprentices load the coolers onto the bus.