Quality Meats and Seafood
It was a humble beginning for Quality Boneless Beef Company. Meat cutter Tom Blakeway and a friend started the business in 1967. Each morning, Tom made deliveries and took the next day’s orders. He came back to the plant in the afternoons to de-bone cattle for the next day’s deliveries. His concept was simple: to supply a fresh, quality product to area restaurants and retail establishments.
The news about Quality spread and the company greatly expanded. Today they supply fine beef, pork and seafood products to the tri-state area. They attribute their longevity and growth to the relentless pursuit of exceptional quality and service.
CEO Skip Wetzstein and President Dan Richard work as partners to make their business successful. This is the kind of relationship they were looking for in a bank, they found it in Alerus Financial. “We’ve been approached by other banks,” Skip says, “But I’ve never had a reason to change.”
“Alerus understands us. We’re a wholesale meat company and we’re also an employee-owned company, and those two things can present some interesting challenges.” It works because Alerus is a partner and advisor, not just a financial vendor. “They are on the same plane as our corporate accountant and attorney. We rely heavily on them for advice.”
Over the years, the banking services used by Quality Meats corresponded closely with their growth. “At first it was the typical banking services. Now Alerus does our ESOP and helps us plan for capital expenditures. They also help us maximize our cash flow by setting up money sweeps and managing all our investments.”
That kind of relationship is possible only through a true partnership. “Our relationship manager has a very good understanding of what our business is all about. We talk on a regular basis.”
In addition to business expansion made possible through Alerus products, Quality has found the electronic banking services to be an efficiency booster. “It was a leap of faith to create transactions over the internet, but Alerus has created a safe place to do it. They’re a leader on that front,” Skip says.
“Alerus has far exceeded our expectations.”
Quality Meats and Seafood www.qualitymeats.com
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