Excalibur’s Personal Service, Product Quality Steer Louie’s Finer Meats in the Right Direction
When the conversation turns to summer sausage in and around Cumberland, Wisconsin, everyone knows the signature combination of beef and pork, cranberries, cheddar cheese, maple syrup and honey is what made Louie’s Finer Meats famous.
“Our products are unique,” says Louis “Louie Jr.,” Muench, Jr. (Louie III), owner of Louie’s Finer Meats. “We produce 100 types of bratwursts and the largest selection of ethnic sausages in northern Wisconsin. With 50 varieties of flavored chicken breasts, gourmet flavored hamburger patties, and 15 kinds of snack sticks, sooner or later you’re going to find something you like with our variety.”
Muench was in high school when his father, Louis Muench, Sr., a former meat department manager at a local grocery store, branched out with his own meat market in 1970. Five years later, Louie’s Finer Meats began participating in meat competitions and has since won more than 700 state, national, and international awards.
“Being involved in meat competitions was a turning point for us,” recalls Louie, Jr. “My dad, brother and son served as judges in state competitions and that has added to our portfolio of knowledge. The honors not only put a trademark on and certified that our products were good, but also kept us competitive and helped improve the product.
“A lot of this is because of our relationship with Excalibur Seasoning. They were incredibly helpful to us.”
When a partnership with a different seasoning company ended, Muench says Excalibur’s personalized service filled the void.
“Other big seasoning companies wouldn’t talk to us because we couldn’t make their minimum amount,” Louie Jr., recalls. “Even though we weren’t a huge account, Excalibur’s founder, the late Jerry Hall and his team, took the time to take us seriously and were patient with us. They wanted our business to be successful.”
Muench says Excalibur has been good for their type of business, with numerous popular flavor blends and top selling private label shaker and retail seasonings, including Majestic Steak, Chipotle, Butter Garlic and Herb Garlic.
“Some 500 products are registered with the state and around 100 of them feature Excalibur’s flavors. At least two-thirds of our marinated chicken breasts are sourced from Excalibur. From the different corned beefs and pastramis to sausages and snack sticks, some are just outstanding. There’s not too much spice to take away from the flavor of the meat. The seasonings enhance the meat.”
Muench credits sales team members Rick McLimans and Andy Pearson – both former meat market owners – who can relate well to the ups and downs of running a meat processing business.
“When we first consulted with Excalibur, they looked at our operation and asked us what we considered, especially with how we could apply one product with different variations using our recipes. The sales people provide over the top type of service. They offer consultation on our displays and help expand our product line. They also bounce ideas off of us and allow us to tell them what might work. They are realistic with our expectations and know exactly what we’re talking about.”