Meat+Poultry - August 2018 - 87

Lake Geneva Country
Meats works to satisfy
today's Amazonminded consumers
BY S T E V E K RU T | m e a t p o u l t r y @ s o s l a n d.c o m

W

hen you are a small meat
business in a small town that
gets a heavy influx of 'big
city' customers, you have to do things a bit
differently. It is that understanding that keeps
Lake Geneva Country Meats in Lake Geneva,
Wisconsin, a cut above most of its competitors.
Nick Vorpagel, manager and vice president
of business development, and the one in
charge of all things digital at the 53-year-old
processing company, says his toughest task is
trying to meet customer expectations.
"People will come in asking for things we
do not have, and we need to be able to explain
why we do not provide a large selection of
grass-fed meats," he says as an example. "Some
will tell us that they can get it from Amazon
in 24 hours. But when we can let them know
why we've selected our fresh and processed
meat products, how they are prepared, other
positive attributes about them and why our
line-up may have significant benefits for them,
they realize we know what we're talking about
and they will listen."
It's not that the 15,000-sq.-ft. business
doesn't offer alternatives for most tastes. They
make over 30 varieties of bratwurst (including
portabello mushroom and swiss and cherry brat
versions). They have also racked up hundreds
of plaques and awards in state, national and
international cured meats competition, and
have been featured in "Discover Wisconsin," a
state-wide television program.
But Vorpagel contends that you can't
do all things for all people when you are on
a shoestring budget. "We have to put our
emphasis on making superior products and
offering the best customer service. Since the
current plant location was purchased in 1967,
we've gone through expansion programs 13
times...something that says we may be on the
right path."

FAMILY CONNECTIONS
Vorpagel is the grandson of the late John and
Rita Leahy, who founded the company next to
the family farm in 1965. The Leahys laid the
foundation for the business and developed it
to the point where they were inducted into the
Wisconsin Meat Hall of Fame in 2003. A major
expansion of the highway in front of the plant
resulted in the demolition of the family farm
and increased traffic much closer to a fourlane highway.
His father Scott Vorpagel, company
president and CEO, married his mother Kathy,
a second-generation member of the Leahy meat
family. She serves as retail manager for Lake
Geneva Country Meats.
Vorpagel worked summers at the meat
business in his younger years, earned a
degree in political science and began law
school. He quit law school when he found
that he was better suited to work for the
family business.
"I liked food, working with the folks in the
family business, and dealing with customers,"
he reflects. "I was always involved with some
project at the plant. It seems those projects
never stopped for me, but they all centered
on listening to customers and thinking how to
make things better for them."
At 31, Vorpagel has tackled assignments like
marketing and advertising, community projects,
sales, pricing and new account development.

Lake Geneva Country
Meats offers more than
30 varieties of bratwurst.

"I liked food,
working with
the folks in
the family
business, and
dealing with
customers."
- NICK VORPAGEL

www.meatpoultry.com | 08.18 | MEAT+ POULTRY

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - August 2018

http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_07_11
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2018_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2018_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_01_01_mp
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2003_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2003_10_01
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