‘Keep the food flowing:’ Roundy’s ramps-up distribution as families seek essentials

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OCONOMOWOC -- More than 225 trucks per day. That's how much product the Roundy's distribution center in Oconomowoc sends to all of its Wisconsin stores and even some in Illinois.

Before Metro Market and Pick 'n Save employees can re-stock their stores, the Roundy's distribution center in Oconomowoc gets them everything they need, like toilet paper, fresh fruit and more.

Richard Bridwell

"We have a dry grocery. We have a perishable, which includes produce, meat and dairy. And then we have a freezer," Richard Bridwell, Roundy's senior supply chain manager, said.

The warehouse moves 2.2 million cases of product every week. And when much of the state is ordered to stay home, while grocery stores remain open, the facility and its 800 employees take things up a notch -- working up to 16 hours a day.

Jim Hyland

"We have to keep the food flowing. We have to keep the stores stocked," said Jim Hyland, vice president of communications for Roundy's. "We're one of the few places that people can go under this order, so there's a lot of pride coming through our business right now."

They've stocked the same amount of produce right now as they normally would for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving -- their busiest day of the year -- just to keep up with the high demand.

"We have people loading trucks. People driving forks. People picking cases. It's like an orchestra," Bridwell said.

The Oconomowoc employees are stringing together the essentials for families from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.

Pick 'n Save and Metro Market stores are also using protection for employees at their stores, installing plexiglass shields at the registers to limit face-to-face contact.

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