EDITOR'S NOTE: During the coronavirus outbreak, the Herald is profiling efforts being made by local businesses to aid customers and to stay viable during this historic disruption to commerce.

Supply shortages and price increases have challenged a 61-year-old Grand Forks meat company, but it still is keeping busy serving a devoted customer base in Greater Grand Forks and the region.

L&M Meats Inc. hasn’t closed its doors to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it is making products accessible for those who don’t want to step outside their vehicles. As with many businesses in the Greater Grand Forks area, the meat company is accepting customer orders for pickup.

“People can call in and we’ll have their order taken outside to them,” said General Manager Jeff Novak.

People are not skimping on their meat products, he said. Over a recent three-day period, L&M sold more than 2,000 pounds of hamburger – that’s 1,300 pounds more than it usually sells within the same time period, he said.

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One challenge is the company is not getting supplies as quickly to make sausage and other products.

“Our producer is trying to help us as much as he can,” he said, “but everyone is stocking their shelves at home, stocking their refrigerators and freezers at home.”

One impact is a slight price increase, Novak said, “but the only reason we raised our prices is because the prices go up on us.”

Not everyone orders by phone. Some customers still come into the shop to place and pick up their orders. Novak said while the company has always prided itself on its cleanliness, it has ramped up these efforts even more.

“We’ve always tried to keep things clean but we’re really alert now,” he said. “We’re sanitizing all the time.”

Despite these strange times, Novak said L&M hasn’t lost focus on providing quality service to customers, people who have been “very understanding” about supply shortages and price increases whether they come into the store or order for pickup outside the shop.

And apparently it’s not just the locals who are calling.

“We just had a big order that is going to Kentucky,” he said. “Bratwurst and buffalo products, we’re shipping all kinds of stuff all over.”

If you would like to see your business appear in Retail Reacts, contact Herald business reporter Adam Kurtz at akurtz@gfherald.com. Not all requests will lead to stories. The Herald will choose from among a wide swath of Greater Grand Forks businesses.

As a public service, the Herald has opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.