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Streamlining and Simplifying Operations Leads Local Meat Company to Success
Mid Valley Foods, Inc. the 2012 Central California Small Business Person of the Year knows the importance of streamlining business procedures and processes. The company (formerly E&E Meats) was started in 1979 by Earl Casey and wholesales various processed and packaged meat products to grocery stores, restaurants and deli’s.
In 2000, Les and Cheri Casey purchased the business from Les’s father. They incorporated, modernized and began to expand sales and distribution at a Riverbank facility. By 2005, it became apparent to the Casey’s that the business had grown to the limits of the old and antiquated facility and additional operational space would be needed for the company to be successful. Also important was their need to develop new innovative techniques and streamline and simplify existing processes to improve their overall operational efficiency.
Over several months the Casey's met with the Alliance Small Business Development Center in Modesto to refine their business plan and loan proposal for construction of a new distribution facility. Alliance consultants also assisted to develop a strategic operational plan cutting many costs for the firm and improving operational efficiency. In particular SBDC consultants advised the Casey’s on improving job descriptions and employee duties in order to help them achieve maximum work flow and use the best people in the optimum positions.
Alliance SBDC Director Kurtis Clark said this about the Casey's, "When Les and Cheri first came to the SBDC, they had a clear vision of what they knew their business could become but needed help securing financing and creating key business systems in order to minimize costs and maximize their potential. With a strong desire to learn all they could and the tenacity to overcome numerous challenges the Casey’s are making their vision a reality."
“In today’s economy it is very important for small business entrepreneurs to review their business operations on a continuous basis. With the help of the SBDC program we were able to refine and fine tune several operating procedures which saved our company not only in hard cash dollars but in actual staff hours” said Cheri Casey.
In 2010 with the assistance of an SBA 7a guaranteed loan and the City of Oakdale, the company was able to construct a state-of-the-art, 24,000 square foot building that is both functionally and energy efficient. In the first year the company saw a reduction in energy use even though the new facility is over three times the total cubic space of the old facility. The new building includes warehouse space, cold storage and offices. The new location for the wholesale foods distributor will allow for triple the distribution and has already grown to expand their company from 10 employees to a current work force of 30.
“Traditionally, entrepreneurs in the food industry have high electrical refrigeration and energy costs. We were able to streamline with the new building construction our energy consumption by utilizing insulated panels that have increased our efficiencies and actually reduce the business’s monthly electrical costs. Lowering our overall electrical consumption is money we can now use for other important budget areas,” said Cheri Casey.
Today, Mid Valley Foods serves over 350 customers from multi-million dollar accounts to local small business and with less than a year in their new facility the Casey’s have already discussed the growing need for an expansion of refrigeration and freezer storage space.
"In this challenging economy we recognize that the goal to grow and survive any small business is certainly not for the faint of heart. We attribute our successes to a firm faith, a strong marriage partnership and the belief that this journey has taken us where we were meant to be. Although often exhausting, it has definitely been made easier by of the tremendous support and hard work of our staff who all along the way have encouraged us in reaching our dreams and goals for Mid Valley Foods, Inc.," said Cheri Casey.
Mid Valley Foods, Inc.
Les and Cheri Casey, Owners
2012 Central California Small Business Person of the Year
1864 Ackley Circle
Oakdale, California 95361 (209) 847-8774