Kuna produce kit

A local food-service provider is giving local markets and restaurants an opportunity to sell fresh produce to their customers amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

Kuna Foodservice is now offering three boxes – one of essential produce, one of steak and produce and another of pork, chicken and produce – that small markets and restaurants alike can sell to customers to keep them satisfied while contributing to their profits during a time where many small businesses are struggling. 

"We were trying to think of a creative way for some of our customers to earn more profit and get people in their restaurants and to their curbside," says Rose Woodward, director of marketing for Kuna. 

She says that many places were already looking into products like dairy products that customers would want to purchase without having to brave the grocery story, so building a produce box seemed like a good first step for Kuna. Woodward says that nearly a dozen local markets have signed on and are selling the boxes, and they are working with some of their restaurant customers to sell them there, too. Some of Kuna's customers will also serve solely as pickup locations for the boxes, and Kuna is working on putting together an online ordering system so that anyone can order a box. 

Produce boxes include a selection of carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and more. One protein box includes four top sirloin steaks and four porterhouse pork chops; a second steak box includes strip steak and center cut pork steaks; and a third box includes four pork chops and four pieces of fajita chicken breasts. There is no price for the boxes across the board, but Kuna suggests pricing for the produce box be between $28 and $32 per box. 

In addition to helping customers sell these boxes, Kuna is also printing complimentary takeout menus for its customers – Woodward says she has printed about 20,000 black and white menus at this point – along with sending local radio stations daily lists of which of their customers are open and what people can expect from the menus. 

Woodward says that right now, Kuna is just trying to give its clients ways to get through this difficult time. 

"We're just doing our best," Woodward says. "Restaurants are 60 percent of our business, so we're doing our best to support them and give them creative ideas."

She says that's one of the advantages of working with Kuna – some of the company's customers have been working with them for 40 years, and they want to help make them successful.

"They're like family to us," Woodward says. 

Check with your local market to see if they are selling Kuna boxes; sellers include Bagley Farms Meat Market, John's Butcher Shoppe, Miller's Meat Market and more. 

Kuna Foodservice, kunafoodservice.com