Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Choice or Prime

Choice or Prime

Bob and I were in the food business for a few years.  We would deliver fresh steaks, frozen prepared foods, fish, shrimp, chicken cutlets, cheese cakes, lobster, and many other items in portion controlled boxes.  These things would be delivered to people at their home or business for their home consumption.

We became the “Meat Man”, just like the old time milk man, bread man, etc. who came to you with the items you ordered.  We would give them recipes and advice on how to cook, offer them specials, and we would have regular routes going from Palm Beach to Miami.

At one point I was the only salesperson authorized to make deliveries and sell this kind of service on Palm Beach Island.  I had to register with the Palm Beach Police and carry an ID card with me.  Since I was registered the police didn’t give me a hard time, and kept other “salesmen” off the Island.  We sold to some famous and near famous people, such as the sister of Senator Jacob Javitts.

Almost all our customers stayed with us for a long time, and we were always looking for new customers.  We would always have extra items with us to sell to new customers, generally at their place of business or where they were when we arrived with a delivery, such as a beauty salon.

The beauty salons were great.  Once one person bought, it often inspired the other women to buy and we would gain new customers.  Sometimes it would turn into a buying frenzy which was great for us.

We often got recommendations to other customers.  One such recommendation was a man in Delray Beach.  He ordered a box of NY Strip Steaks and asked for it to be delivered to his home.  I called him before coming and he seemed a little befuddled on the phone, but gave me directions.  The house was on the beach.  I knocked on the door, and the man came to the door stark naked with a drink in his hand.

I decided discretion was the better part of profit, and quickly turned around and left, leaving him swaying in the doorway.  Needless to say, I didn’t go back.

Some of our customers were commercial establishments like restaurants and bars.  We had some topless bars as customers. 

Their licenses usually were restaurant licenses, so in order to keep their licenses; they had to “sell” food. 

The inspectors would look at their purchase receipts to make sure they were buying food.  They would generally buy items they could prepare easily.  They would buy steaks, hamburgers, hotdogs, Chicken Fingers, and the like.  Their cliental were more drinkers than eaters.

The first time I delivered to a one particular customer, he gave me a check as payment.  I told him I couldn’t take his check.  He asked me why and I replied, “the name of your company is Goniff, Inc. (a Yiddish word for No-goodnik or thief, a bad person), and I know what that means. 

He gave me cash.

We would also sell to the dancers in the clubs.  They would pay us in $1 bills.  Our pockets would bulge with the wad of one dollar bills they would pay us with.  Hint, that’s a good way to pinpoint the occupation of your young female acquaintances.

One time, I was delivering a box of Prime NY Strip to one of the clubs.  I was in the kitchen when one of the dancers came into the kitchen.  She had just finished performing and was wearing a filmy negligee.  She spied the box I had just brought in and asked what was in it?

I replied, “Prime NY Strip Steaks”. 

She asked me to open the box.  Her eyes lit up.  She asked what they cost.  I told her.

She lifted her negligee and said, “Do you want to trade Prime for Prime?”

I replied, “Looks kind of Choice to me”. 

My comment went right over her head.  She didn’t understand what I was referring to.

Fortunately, the owner came in with my payment and I left.

I told this story to Barbara when I got home. 

I never understood why she awarded me no points for my behavior.

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