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Storytelling: Nick Vorpagel, Lake Geneva Country Meats [Part Three]

Updated: Feb 26

(3/3) “We want you when you leave here to feel like you've had a really terrific, empowering experience and that you can go and share that with whomever you're sharing your food with. My favorite thing here is we have a great core of people that shop with us every week. Then we have a number of people that come here for just special occasions or events. You'll see some dude that is terrified that it's their first time inviting their girlfriend over for a meal. He’s thinking, ‘What am I going to cook? How am I gonna cook this? I need her to be impressed. So she thinks I'm worth keeping.’ Talking to that guy and walking him through an easy meal that fits what he has; that's the part that's so fulfilling. It’s having a grandma come in for a recipe from the old country that her grandma used to make. She wants to prepare it for her grandkids and it requires two pounds of smoked beef knuckles. It's the family traditions that are so exciting and fun.

How can we continue to be a part of those stories, share more stories, and get people interested in food and interested in understanding why food is important? We have a tremendous amount of talented food producers in this area. Hill Valley Dairy is making some of the best cheese in the state which means you're making some best cheese in the world. Simple Bakery, their breads are unbelievable. We have a ton of incredible produce growers like Geneva Lakes Produce, Von Bergan's, Pearce's – we sell a lot of their produce. River Valley Ranch, what they do with their mushrooms and their canned items are just incredible. I'm sure I'm forgetting people, but we are so lucky to have so many great food producers in this region. How can we all work together to tell people the story of what we do? Explain how what we do is valuable and make Lake Geneva a destination that's not known just for the lake and the great restaurants, shopping, and activities downtown. It is also a culinary destination for food you can take home with you.

In Lake Geneva, you get a little bit of everything. My wife has a very important job. She works remotely for a large FinTech company. We could live in a lot of places. Well, she could, I couldn't, but she could and she travels a decent amount. We've both been to a lot of places. We haven't found a place that has this combination of proximity to Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago and even Rockford, for really good cultural experiences, beautiful countryside, Geneva Lake, the lake path, and Library Park. Then you get a great combination of people that have been here for a long time and are just a little bit more relaxed, a little bit friendlier. Then you get all the visitors from throughout the world. It’s crazy the number of different nationalities and states that we'll see through this town any given day. So for us, it's that balance. That's what everybody's chasing: work-life and home-life balance, but you have easy access to anything you could really want. It's just beautiful here.” - Nick Vorpagel, Lake Geneva Country Meats, 5907 State Road 50 East, Lake Genev

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