Behind the Scenes: Buying Club Load-up
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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.
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About Kristen Long

Kristen Long came to Polyface as an intern in the summer of 2010. She enjoyed the lifestyle and work here and is now freezer organizer and inventory manager. Kristen was born and raised in Virginia and was homeschooled most of her school years. As a teen, she began raising dairy calves and milking cows before coming to Polyface. Kristen is blessed to be engaged to her best friend, Ben Beichler. They will be married in 2012 and manage DoubleB Acres, LLC.
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