It takes a lot to start up a business and no one knows that better than co-owner Thea Loptka of DrybagSteak. In May of 2010, when it first began, they had only one employee and that was Barb. Barb worked efficiently and accurately with the support of Joe, Community Involvement’s Community Support Specialist, until she could be naturally supported. Employees with disabilities who are naturally supported at their place of employment become successful and devoted employees. The business grew, so much so that they were able to hire another employee.
Barb worked every Monday packing and labeling products for delivery of UMAi Dry® to customers looking for a unique product that allows them to recapture the artisan flavor of meat in their own kitchen. It replaces the old methods of aging meat; all that is needed is a refrigerator, vacuum sealer and UMAi Dry®. Their customers love the kits for getting started with dry aging beef or making salami. With Barb’s attention to detail, DrybagSteak has had no customer complaints about their orders or products.
In September of 2012, the team decided that Barb should move toward being naturally supported at work. Thea strongly agreed, “We value Barb’s work highly, and feel grateful she is a member of our team.” When DrybagSteak added Sandee to the company, it allowed Barb to increase her schedule to two days a week. Barb’s duties make packing quick and easy for the rest of the employees.
It is safe to say that without Barb’s careful attention to detail in efficiently counting and packaging their product, DrybagSteak wouldn’t be where it is today. The natural support provided by fellow employees has made both the company and Barb successful. Barb’s production continues to increase and four years after starting, she still enjoys going to work.
Special thanks to Thea Loptka for providing information for this article. For product information visit their website www.umaidry.com.