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We all love eating beef, there’s no question about that, but there’s so much more between the ranch and your fork. A lot of the in-between is a waiting game and takes a lot of patience. When the meat is ready to be picked up from the harvest facility, it is then dropped off at The Richwood Meat Company, to be cut into the specific pieces we need to fulfill orders. After the meat is cut, we pick it up and bring it to our cold storage facility, where we wait, once again, for the meat to freeze so we can pack it up for shipping. 

Packing orders is not as easy as it may seem, we pack orders varying between ten pounds and 400 pounds.  Larger orders require more attention and a thought process of how you are going to arrange everything in the box. You have to make sure you have the right amount of each product and enough ice packs to make sure everything stays frozen during shipment. 

After packing orders, the process of printing labels starts.  It is really important to make sure you don’t mix up any orders because you don’t want to send the wrong order to someone. Once the labels are made you finish packing up the box, smack the label on it, and set it to the side to wait for the shipping couriers. Finally, we mark the order complete to ensure we don’t send the same order twice and we make sure we don’t mark off orders that aren’t complete yet.

After a while, you get used to the layout of the warehouse and become pretty efficient at packing orders, until you run out of something…Sometimes you’ll be packing a big order and not realize you’re out of a certain item, then you have to unpack it and put everything back… trust us it’s happened more times than we can count during this crazy season we’re in! 

We are very fortunate during this hectic and undescribable time to have such a helpful crew who knows what they are doing. On the busier days, we typically have two people packing orders, one person making labels, one person doing all the finishing touches on the boxes, and another making boxes for the packages to be shipped in. Our crew has adapted to the effects of COVID-19, we follow health protocol to keep ourselves safe and the orders safe, we’ve learned ways to become more efficient and we even manage to have some fun while we’re at it!  When we’re in the warehouse, you’ll hear some faint old country music playing in the background, the whirr of the fan, and often bits of conversation from the front office. We’ve all almost tripped over freezer shelves or each other, and we’ve watched someone unpack an order (or done it ourselves) because we worried a product wasn’t put in, usually- everything is in there and then we have to pack it back up. Of course, a few mistakes have been made along the way, but we are very fortunate to have such understanding customers.

We are extremely thankful for our partners, such as Yosemite Meat Co, The Richwood Meat Company, and Sanders Meat Services,  they work around the clock to help us get food on your tables. If you get a chance, thank a butcher, because they are the middle man that rarely gets credit for all the hard work they do! We know that packing orders and being in the warehouse isn’t as beautiful and pleasing to the eye, but it is still an essential role in getting the job done.

Alizabeth Lopez

Author Alizabeth Lopez

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