89 Year Old Founder Still Comes into Work Every Day
06.13.2018 The UW Provision Legacy
Jim Kalscheur – The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Jim Kalscheur is the founder Uw Provision, a meat distribution company based out of Middleton, WI in 1958…and 60 years later still comes into work to put in orders and chat with long-time loyal customers and friends on the phone.
Jim grew up in Pine Bluff, a tiny town outside of Cross Plains, WI that is basically nothing more than a 4 way intersection. It was a farming town where everybody knew everybody, and most of them were related. Jim was the only boy in his family with 4 sisters.When he turned 12 his family had to move out of their home when he contracted hay fever and could no longer work on the farm…so they packed everything up and moved right across the street to a house without a farm.
Now that Jim couldn’t do farm work, which is all he had known up until that point, he had to look somewhere else for work…and he found himself working in a small grocery store. He continued to work there for a few years until an opportunity opened for him to do deliveries for a local meat shop based out of Madison. Being a man who seizes opportunities, Jim took it, and would even pick up people who also worked in the city on his way to work who didn’t have cars…not because he had to, but because that’s just the type of person he was and still is.
After working his way up from a delivery boy in his early years of high school, eventually Jim was running the place by the time he graduated…When an opportunity came up for him to take over another meat shop in Madison called U.W. Provision. Jim thought about it for weeks, he’d come home and talk to his wife, Joyce Kalscheur about it every night after work. Joyce eventually told him to either do something about it, or to stop talking about it. On Monday August 18th, 1958 Jim decided he would give it his best shot, and on that day his new journey began. Jim and Joyce Kalscheur are still married today.
Uw Provision, a Family run Company, and Now one of the Largest meat distributers in the Midwest believes in 2 things:
- Helping Those who Help Them
- And Good old fashioned hard work
Although Jim isn’t running the business anymore, (and hasn’t been for many years), his son Steve Kalscheur has been doing one heck of a job. In in Interview with The Madison State Journal a few years back Steve Kalscheur had some respectable things to say about his father:
“He wasn’t a CEO who said we have to budget this and do that. Every day he was buying stuff and selling it. He knew the business from the back to the front instead of the front to the back…If there’s a problem, he’d fix it.”
Steve continued, “The way I look at it, we have to have an answer to keep Costco, Walmart, Sam’s, all those guys, from putting the local grocers out of business.” UWP has always had a reputation for selling high-quality products at competitive prices…that are now available to the public and not just restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, and meat processors.
Later in the interview Karl Miller, who buys meat from UW Provision for Miller & Sons Supermarkets in Verona and Mount Horbe said, “Jim and the older generation did a really great job. But since Steve took over, I think it has gone to a whole other level….They bring stuff to us on Saturday mornings. The big guys don’t do that,” Miller said. “I think (UW Provision) has gotten to be a pretty big guy, but what we deal with them, they treat us like they’re one of the little guys yet.” Read the whole article here
What is truly amazing about UWP is their ability to satisfy such a wide variety of needs for so many different types of customers…and recently they a couple stores to focus more on the needs of local families.
Two Great Locations
If You’re Having a Cookout, Throwing a Party, or Hosting an Event our stores have what you need.
UW Provision’s The Meat Market, in Middleton, WI, or Local Source Foods in Sun Prairie, WI has everything you need for your event in large quantities…Which Means cheaper prices, with the same high quality meat that they ship out to grocery stores and restaurants. They also have a HUGE variety fresh meat, as well as frozen, and carry tons of Wine, Beer, and Liquor for Any Occassion.
A lot of the younger generations are searching for a quick fix to their problems, and shortcuts to success, because they think money will bring them happiness…However it’s not the money that brings happiness, it’s the people we share experiences with that yields the most joy.
It’s not the what, it’s the why.
Jim Kalscheur could have been in the business of anything, meat is just where he wound up. He has been dedicated for so many years because the people he works with and does business with make it all worthwhile for him. Jim surrounded himself with people who believe what he believes, which are values like loyalty, optimism, commitment, and helping out the people who helped you.
Jim Kalscheur is the perfect example for these younger generations, because he found happiness not from money or a quick fix, but from the long lasting relationships he fostered over the many years of staying dedicated to his company. If you are young and looking for happiness the quick fix isn’t what you should be looking for. You should be searching for a great organization with people who believe in the same things as you.
We all want happiness, but in order to find the kind that lasts awhile comes from commitment to a cause that you have help grow and develop. It is not about what job you do, it’s about why you do it. Take some time to figure out your values, stick to them, and find other people who value the same things. Jim Kalscheur is a simple man who loves what he does, and is a great example of someone who found happiness through living by his values and having a clear vision of his why.