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Remote Meat Lockers Make Buying Easy
Munsee Meats’ customers can pick up their beef, pork and other meats easily at the Automated Farmers Market (AFM). Located in the parking lot of a Harley Davidson dealer, the AFM consists of a set of lockers and an access kiosk. Online orders offer the option of delivery to the AFM. Text alerts are sent to the customer with a QR code when the order is ready for pickup.
“We have a set of 20 lockers in the AFM in a parking lot across from the largest supermarket in town,” says Jason Mauck, Munsee Meats. “Our customers can park right next to the AFM, get their order and leave in 20 seconds. It’s very convenient.”
Mauck and a group of local partners bought the meat processing plant in 2020 to handle the animals they raised. The company offers prepackaged meat bundles, as well as cut-to-order, locally raised beef, lamb, pork, bison and poultry. They also carry seafood and other products, delivering to around 1,000 restaurants across their region. Until the AFM was established, retail customers had to use a side entrance of the processing plant.
“We have logistics in place to handle the restaurant trade, but there are a lot of costs involved with a retail market,” says Mauck. “We can have several AFMs in high-traffic areas for the cost of one brick-and-mortar store.”
Setting up the first AFM involved identifying a high-traffic area with available parking and a nearby billboard. The billboard ensured power availability. For $5,000 they were able to access power. They leased the AMF for $1,500 per month. Mauck estimates a retail outlet would cost at least $10,000 per month and at a less desirable location.
“We offered the dealership a percentage of our sales at the site for use of excess parking lot space,” says Mauck. “We can fill it several times a day, and customers can pick up their orders at their convenience.”
While the company is still building awareness of the new concept, Mauck is satisfied with the results. “We’re averaging $115 per transaction,” he says. “Once people try it, they become weekly or monthly customers. As business increases, we can simply add modules.”
Mauck is already looking at future potential utilizing the company’s restaurant delivery system. “We have plans to do one in Indianapolis, 60 miles away,” he says. “We want to grow. We’re trying to be a facilitator of our meat products, but also other local businesses, such as pre-made pizzas, produce and other locally made foods.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Munsee Meats 1701 W. Kilgore Ave, Muncie, Ind. 47304 (ph 765-288-3645; www.munseemeats.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1