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20 Things You Didn't Know about Omaha Steaks

Do you routinely order food from Omaha Steaks? If you do, then you already know that this is not just your regular mail order company. If you have never ordered or eaten food from this place, you really have no idea what you are missing. If you want to know more about things, just read through the list below. You can find out 20 more things about this dynamic company that started so many years ago.

1. It started out as a butcher shop

Today, this is a multi-million-dollar company but it wasn't always that way. As a matter of fact, it started out as a rather small neighborhood butcher shop. The father-and-son duo that began the company initially served the neighborhood that they were located in and things gradually started expanding from there. When they went into this business venture, there's no doubt that they had high hopes for it but it would have been impossible for them to dream that it could have gone as far as it has today.

2. It’s been in the same family for five generations

Since this father and son started the company, no less than five generations have been involved in this operation. Even now, all these years later, the company is still operated by the same family. Granted, it's grown a lot and it requires a lot more people to run it now than it did when it was in its infancy, but that doesn't change the fact that when it really comes right down to the decision-making and the day to day operations, everything is in the hands of the same family that started it all five generations ago.

3. They also have a sister company

A lot of people don't realize that World Port Seafood is actually operated by the same people as Omaha Steaks. However, these two companies are what you might refer to as sister companies. Both are operated by the same people and for the most part, they are operated in much the same way. The obvious difference is that one caters to steak lovers and one caters to those who love seafood but in reality, you can find a wide variety of foods from both sources.

4. The company was founded by immigrants who came to America in the 1800s

The company wouldn't even exist if it weren't for a father and son that immigrated to the United States in the late 1890s. It was about 1898 when they came to the United States from Latvia. At the time, they were trying to escape the country that they had called home their entire lives because of the persecution of Jews in the area. They found a safe haven when they came to the United States and decided to settle down and make their lives in Omaha. As they say, the rest is history.

5. They saw a resemblance to the land they were forced to leave when they saw Nebraska

Once they got to the United States, they realized how much they missed their homeland. Even though they had been forced to leave, it was the only place they had ever known and when they saw Nebraska, they immediately saw a strong resemblance to the way the land looked. This is ultimately what caused them to decide to settle on Omaha. Otherwise, Omaha Steaks might have ended up being in some other part of the country.

6. The company was started in 1917

As previously mentioned, the father and son that started this company came to the United States during the late 1890s. For almost 20 years, they worked as neighborhood butchers. It wasn't until 1917 that they decided to form Omaha Steaks and even then, it was obviously a much smaller company than it is today. Nevertheless, that's when it got its start and for some, it's hard to believe that the company has been around that long. Just imagine that when you place an order from Omaha Steaks, you are doing business with a company that's been in business for more than 100 years. There aren't very many places they can say that.

7. By 1924, they were doing a solid amount of business

It didn't take very long after the company got its start for things to start growing. As a matter of fact, you might even go as far as saying that the company grew by leaps and bounds. By 1924, just seven years after they went into business, they were selling their steaks to large institutions, hotels, and other elite customers throughout the entire region. They were no longer just selling steaks to individuals, but instead filling large orders for businesses that would place multiple orders at one time. This essentially paved the way for the business that they do now.

8. They didn’t start out as Omaha Steaks

The company wasn't always called Omaha Steaks. When they first went into business, they moved into another old business facility called the Table Top Company. They didn't have a lot of money to spend on creating a sign for the name, so they simply inserted the word “steak” and called themselves the Table Top Steak Company. Obviously, this wasn't a name that stuck and just a few years later, once they were doing enough business that cost was no longer an issue, they became Omaha Steaks.

9. The steaks were served on train cars during the 1940s

One of the family members who routinely worked in sales ended up striking a business deal with Union Pacific Railroad to sell their steaks during transit. Shortly thereafter, the railroad company was ordering enough steaks to feed every single person that traveled on their train cars. This resulted in extremely large orders and it was the beginning of the business model that they still use today.

10. This paved the way for a mail order business that started in the 1950s

The success that they experienced with Union Pacific Railroad caused them to start thinking about other ways they could get their steaks to additional people. During the 1950s, they decided that it was time to begin a mail order business where people anywhere in the country could order steaks and they would ship them to them via rail car. At the time, they were using boxes that were packed in dry ice in order to ensure that the steaks remained good until they got to their destination. These days, they utilize special packaging techniques and refrigerated transport. During the 1950s when they started this mail order business, shipping steaks via mail order was considered one of the most bold ideas that anyone could ever have. It simply hadn't been done before and Omaha Steaks is the one that paved the way for everyone else.

11. They started serving customers internationally during the 1960s

By the time the 1960's rolled around, they had been serving people all across the United States for at least 10 years. At this point, they decided that it was time to open up that business a little more and start providing service to international customers. Technology had improved to the point that they could keep the steaks viable even during extended shipping times so at this point, anyone could order a steak from the company, even if they didn't live in the United States.

12. They sell 400 different products

If you think the only thing the company sells is steaks, then you would be doing yourself a favor to go to their website and look at all the different products they offer. When you place an order from them, you can get steaks, for sure, but you can also get plenty of other things. They sell filet mignon, hamburger, chicken, seafood, and all kinds of additional products. All in all, there are about 400 different things that you can choose from so if you're in the mood for a little variety, do yourself a favor and see everything that they have to offer.

13. They have about 1,800 permanent employees

During a normal work day, you can expect to find approximately 1,800 people working for the company. This includes individuals that are answering telephones, filling orders, and working in the factory portion of the business, just to name a few of the positions they have. It's hard to imagine that a small butcher shop that started with just two people could grow to a company that employs almost 2,000 people, but that is proof that when you care about something and you work hard, the sky's the limit when it comes to finding success.

14. During their busiest season, that number grows to at least 2,500

When it gets close to Christmas, the business at Omaha Steaks more than doubles. People frequently order additional items for parties and it's a popular gift to give to others as well. Therefore, the company finds it necessary to add almost an additional 1,000 temporary employees during this time of year so that they can stay on track. This allows them to fill orders without falling behind and it ensures that they provide the same type of service that returning customers have grown accustomed to no matter what time of year it might be.

15. The company even made it into an episode of Fear the Walking Dead

It might not be a surprise for the company to make it into popular culture when it comes to talk shows and things like that and it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see them on something related to food. However, fans of the company couldn't help but notice when the name popped up in Fear the Walking Dead. This is when you know that as a company, you've truly arrived. You're no longer being discussed only in your niche or circle. Instead, you have become a household name and that name can pop up anywhere, even in the most unlikely places.

16. The company routinely gives back to the community of Omaha

This is not a company that has forgotten where it came from or how it got its start. As a result, they can almost always be found supporting different things in and around the community of Omaha. You can almost bet that if it's something that supports the community, they will be right there leading the charge.

17. They also support the Arts

This is a company that also realizes how important it is to explore things like the Arts. Therefore, they support all types of art, whether that involves acting, music or visual art. It's actually pretty rare to see a company that provides the level of support that they have given over the years and it's one reason that so many people support the company in return.

18. They give financial support to combat chronic illnesses

This is a company that also realizes how important it is to support research when it comes to combating things like heart disease and muscular dystrophy. As a result, they provide regular contributions to these and other organizations that work who make people healthier so they can live longer, fuller lives.

19. They have some of the best tasting food you’ll ever eat

Once you eat something from Omaha Steaks, you will never forget the great taste of their food. There is just something special about the food that comes from this place. It tastes great, no matter how you cook it. It’s just not a flavor that you can get from anywhere else. If you have never had the pleasure of eating something from them, you would definitely be doing yourself a favor to place an order and experience the taste of their food for yourself.

20. The company has developed an excellent reputation

Omaha Steaks has never allowed the fact that they have grown into an international company to taint the way they started doing business so many years ago. They still hold the same values now that they had then. That is precisely why they have such a good reputation, coupled with food that is second to none.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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