Meat-selling machine

BROADALBIN -Years ago, Paul Kisielis, learned a valuable lesson from his father Bernard Kisielis, the founder of Meatland.

“Way back when, when we had a good season, instead of just buying a boat or putting it in our pockets …. we reinvested it,” Paul said. “[My father] always said you’ve got to reinvest and look at new machinery and see what’s out there, to be competitive in the market place.”

The results of Meatland’s continual investment in equipment are obvious during a tour of their facility on Railroad Street. Large grey machines that slice meat, form sausages and knit together hamburber patties are used to form meat products at a rapid, but hygenic pace.

Paul Kisielis said Meatland’s hamburger forming machine is a crucial part of the company’s success becuse it creates a high-quality burger than can be made by hand.

“It takes strands of burger and knits them together and it forms a patty. The old technology just slapped it down like a hockey puck and it could be a little chewy,” he said. “Our process is called the tender-from process and it takes those strands and gently forms it.”

Meatland has grown since Bernard Kisielis created the company in the 1970s, filling the niche of a wholesale meat supplier. Meatland sells approximately 20,000 pounds of meat about every two weeks. The high volume of meat sales makes the company subject to daily federal health inspections.

“We are under inspections that nobody else around here is subject to,” Meatland co-owner Kevin Kisielis said. “[Supermarkets] might get inspected once a year; we’re every day,” “There’s not many who do what we do anymore, we’re a dying breed.”

Meatland’s business has employed between 12 to 15 people for the past decade.

Meatland’s business includes wholesale of meat to restaurants and food distributors, retail of meat from their Broadalbin store and door-to-door delivery of meat along 12 different routes within a 100-mile radius that deliver every two weeks.

Kevin said meat delivery customers can order different meat products online at the company’s website or they can pick items off the menu when the truck comes to their house.

“We’re basically a butcher-shop on wheels,” Kevin said. “Generally, people are just used to waiting for the truck to stop every two weeks and they order what they want right off the truck.”

Paul and Kevin said Meatland’s retail business in recent years has gradually grown into being a bigger revenue generator than its wholesale business.

“The majority is retail, that’s grown in leaps and bounds,” Kevin said. “It’s been growing steady over the last few years from word of mouth.”

New products

Meatland is also in the business of providing meat products customers can’t usually find in other places, like buffalo burgers or the company’s lean corned beef product.

Paul said Meatland recently decided to create its own lean corned beef making process, to create a new kind of corned beef.

“We had an idea. Most of the corned beef that you get is just filled with water, salt and it’s fatty,” Paul said. “[We created our own process] one year and we’ve been making it for four years and we’ve sold 1,000 pounds more each year. We were able to use the equipment that we had to create a leaner, more wholesome product.”

Paul said Meatland is going to attempt to get a patent for the corn beef making process.

“You can’t be stagnant, you’ve got to keep moving,” Paul said.