UW Provision is a family-owned distributor and retailer of meat products, such as beef, veal, pork, sausages, brats, poultry, lamb, and seafood. Although UW Provision specializes in meat, the company also sells and distributes cheese, butter, eggs, pasta and potato salads, hamburger and hot dog buns, desserts, drinks, condiments and sauces, and spices.
UW Provision sells and distributes their products to restaurants, wholesalers, grocers, meat shops, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, correctional institutions, and the general public without a required membership. UW Provision is also involved in multiple areas of the meat industry: cutting, packaging, storage, retail, and distribution.
UW Provision was founded in 1958 and over the last 60 years, it has grown from a small meat shop to a four-segmented company: UW Provision as a wholesaler, The Meat Market and Local Source Foods as its two retail stores, and Sun Prairie Cold Storage as its refrigerated food storage. UW Provision is associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the company provides the meat and other food products for the Kohl Center’s sporting events as well as any university event or fundraiser.
The History of UW Provision
On August 18, 1958, UW Provision founder Jim Kalscheur became the proprietor of UW Meat Market; a small butcher shop adjacent to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
For a building that measured less than a thousand square feet, UW Meat Market quickly grew to do a substantial amount of wholesale business. Jim Kalscheur recalls, “One week, we had 126 cattle in there. That’s 504 quarters of beef that came in during one week. We’d break the front quarters down, hang the hind quarters, some of them on the porch area. Then, we’d deliver them the same day. What else could we do? So, it really made good operators out of us.”
UW Meat Market quickly expanded as a business. In August 1961, Kalscheur and Steve Badalich became business partners and they changed the butcher shop’s name from UW Meat Market to UW Provision to account for its wholesale business. Kalscheur and Badalich also signed the papers for UW Provision’s incorporation.
UW Provision soon outgrew its original location at 756 University Avenue and moved to 1900 Beld Street in June 1962. 10 years later, the Beld Street plant became too small and outdated to accommodate UW Provision’s rapidly expanding business in 1972.
A year later, UW Provision moved to 2315 Pleasant View Road in Middleton in 1973. For the next eight years, the UW Provision plant continued to expand and became ten times its original dimensions. Unfortunately, about a third to half of the plant was destroyed in an electrical fire due to a lightning strike in November 1975. A few days later, UW Provision was back in business. By the mid-1970s, UW Provision was growing steadily, if not explosively, once again.
Today, UW Provision is one of the largest providers of fresh, frozen, and dry food products in the Midwest. With over 100,000 square feet of USDA inspected space, UW Provision’s plant is one of the largest in the industry. Massive freezers and warehouses allow UW Provision to make opportunity buys as well as stock a large inventory of items. This ensures the availability of products on a timely basis to benefit a variety of customers.
Since the first order that we received and delivered over 60 years ago, UW Provision continues its reputation for helping the customer succeed through a tradition of building strong relationships. Our family of dedicated employees provide efficient, friendly, and professional service as well as high-quality products at competitive prices to our customers.