Local Meat Store Rebounds After Flood
Posted at: 12/23/2012 10:34 AM
| Updated at: 12/23/2012 11:01 PM
By: Zach Hammer
Several feet of water inundated Old World Meats on Central Entrance in Duluth, destroying most of their product.
Store owner Paul Wrazidlo said he had to throw out upwards of $100,000 of store content, most of it meat, amid fears of spreading food illnesses such as listeria.
"I think if we would've quit, that would have been a really easy time to do it," Wrazidlo said. "But we didn't, and now we're having a record Christmas week."
He estimates sales are up 20-25% from the same week last year.
How was this business able to recover so quickly and effectively, while some businesses remain boarded up after the flood?
To start, they were awarded a $5,000 grant from the Northland Foundation.
The business is also getting a lot of help from the University of Minnesota-Duluth's Center for Economic Development.
"Since the flood we started working with the Development Center at UMD and we've had great results," Wrazidlo said. "Put a team of kids together, and they're marketing our business."
He also plans on getting a helping hand from UMD's Art Department with his upcoming remodeling project.
While he did get a lot of help, he also made a lot of sacrifices.
"We had a fire sale at home," Wrazidlo said of how he was able to stay afloat. "We sold snowmobiles, ATVs, I drive a '99 vehicle just to keep things going for the next generation."
Wrazidlo hopes hopes that his daughters, Nicole and Brooke, take over the business when he retires, just like he did from his father. And his father before him.