Eagle Food Service Bio
Eagle Food Service has been working in the food service industry for four generations. We are proud to say we are a small family and veteran owned company. We also pride ourselves on working closely with owners and chefs to provide the highest quality customer service while offering competitive pricing on the freshest and finest products from beef, veal, pork, poultry, wild game, cheeses, and dry goods the food industry has to offer. We can also source the most superb farm to table meats and cheeses from some of the tri-states most prestigious and pristine farms.
My Great Grandfather, Albert Nemecek, a first-generation Czechoslovakian immigrant started a trucking company in New York City during the 1920’s and 30’s. He handled the logistical operations for Swift and Company. His son Joseph Sr. worked with him driving the truck. On one occasion while driving Joseph hit a rather large bump in the road and Albert fell off the back of the truck subsequently breaking his clavicle. Albert would not go to the hospital until all the deliveries were completed. He wanted to fix his clavicle himself. The Nemecek family’s work ethic runs deep!
On April 21st in 1937 after my Grandfather, Joseph R. Nemecek Sr. aka “Pop” finished working with his father Albert on the delivery truck and proceeded to work in the meat packing district for Adolf Kusy & Company. He was paid at a rate of $1 per day. Joseph started off at the bottom as a traditional laborer. His value was quickly recognized as he worked his way up vigorously through the company. Eventually he became regarded as the best bookkeeper in the meat packing district due to the fact he possessed a photographic memory. Joe Sr. did not need an adding machine or a calculator to figure out any mathematical problems. As a matter of fact, in most instances his mind was faster than most men with calculators. After working for 41 years, his tireless work ethic, unrivaled ability to do arithmetic, and dedication to his profession abided him the opportunity to purchase Adolf Kusy & Co. in 1978. During Pop’s tenure manning the helm at Adolf Kusy & Co. with the help of his wife Catherine Nemecek aka Fritz. A short Irish woman filled with a vigor for life. They were able to double the size of the company. He took over the adjacent slot to his right. Therefore, enabling the company to carry and sell more products. Some of Adolf Kusy’s staple products were suckling pigs, fresh lambs and goats and every other pork product you could fathom. Pop’s greatest accomplishment was being able to purchase the company he started working at when he was only 17 receiving a wage of one dollar per day.
My father, Joseph R. Nemecek II began working for Pop in 1978. Before that happened, he served four distinguished years (1968-1972) in “various and undisclosed” locations with the esteemed United States Air force as a jet technician during the Vietnam Conflict. Joe Jr. received an honorable discharge with the rank of Sargent. He was the lead jet technician in his squadron. After his tour in Vietnam Joe Jr. did not jump immediately into the family business. He took some time for himself riding across our great nation to experience all its beauty on his 1972 Honda 750 motorcycle. He then started a job as an over the road trucker running loads of various goods up and down the east coast for a few years. After that profession ran its course he decided to settle down, plant some roots and continue in the Nemecek family business. He would be working side by side with his father Joe. Admittedly, this was not an easy undertaking. They had their “disagreements” often but despite that Adolf Kusy & Co. flourished. Kusy as we like to call it, continued to grow and thrive under the ever-vigilant eyes of father and son. New products were brought in. New and old professional relationships continued to grow with suppliers and patrons alike. Business was good!
In 1990 Pop retired and Joe Jr. became the sole proprietor of Adolf Kusy & Co. after purchasing the company. Joe Jr. with the help of his then wife Catherine E. Nemecek. They continued to grow the business. Like father, like son he too doubled the size of the family company. He acquired two more slots adjacent to the two they already had. A new cooler and a “Blast Freezer” were installed to yet again carry more products and diversify the company’s inventory. At one-point Joe Jr. stocked over fifty different types of cheeses. He also purchased a small, refrigerated box truck to start a delivery route. This allowed him to reach a larger customer base. Customers that did not have the ability to pick up their orders at Kusy were now offered the highest quality meats and cheeses delivered to their doorstep. Joe Jr. continued to work closely with his providers developing many industry contacts. Just to name a few, Hormel, Polly-O, Best Provisions, Mosey, Citterio, Danielle, Indiana, Mariah, Sabrett, Realfoot Pork, Dealman Farms, Hotel Bar, Snowball Turkey, and Esskay Meat Company. He also really loved working very closely with his customers, some of which became lifelong friends and practically part of our family. Just like his customers Joe Jr. also continued to maintain many valuable professional working relationships within the meat packing district that are still alive and well today. Joe was doing so well he was featured on the cover of New Yorker Magazine and featured in an article by News Day titled “He Can Really Make Pigs Fly”. He was a staple in the meat packing district just like his father was. He was also extremely proud of the custom hand painted signs that covered the half-block storefront. This business was not only a family legacy but one of his passions. Unfortunately, in the late 1990’s the economic climate and Real Estate values in and around the meat packing district were changing drastically. As the property values were on the rise the landlords knew they could demand much higher rents from a higher-class tenant and so began the gentrification of the historical meat packing district.
January 1st, 2000 Adolf Kusy & Company had to close its doors. The building they were renting for almost one hundred years had been sold. Their lease was up, and the new landlord raised the rent by four hundred percent. That made it impossible for Joe Jr. and Adolf Kusy & Co. to remain in business. Nevertheless, these obstacles did not stop Joe from pursuing his passion. It was at this point Eagle Food Service took flight. Like a Phoenix from the ashes that was born in the U.S. of A! That might have been a little grandiose because starting a new business is never easy. Even with all the industry contacts and professional working relationships the start up was a little tough. Once again, the Nemecek family work ethic prevailed. Joe was able to retain many of the accounts he was delivering to as well as some of the customers that would come to Kusy. For a while Joe tried to remain in the meat market. He tried renting space and working with numerous purveyors but in the end that did not work out. He had to rethink his business model. The new model eliminated the space in the meat market and therefore reducing overhead. He would make daily pick-ups from all the food service providers he was buying from. This was a little more time consuming but worth the extra effort. This ensured Joe got the freshest and highest quality products that were available to him in the industry. Fresh, iced packed poultry, city cut beef, suckling pigs picked up from Dealman Farms in Warrenville, NJ, city cut veal, and many other products. It was a win-win! Business was starting to look particularly good!
This is where I come in, Joseph R. Nemecek III. My father worked extremely hard to provide for his family and offer his children a better life than that of a “meat man”. He did a phenomenal job at that if I must say so myself. I was and still am remarkably close with my father. I would help him around Kusy as often as I could. As a young boy I would jump at the chance to spread saw dust on the old wooden floor in the cooler and occasionally if no one were looking I would pretend to be Rocky Balboa with the fresh hanging suckling pigs. I have so many found memories of Kusy and the meat market. Too many to get into right now, but what I cherish most were the friendships I made and some that I still carry on to this day.
Fast forward twenty years. In 2013, after attending college in Vermont at Green Mountain for five years studying Adventure Recreational Management. Then starting a landscaping business for 6 years, I too decided to join the family business full time. Exactly what my father was hoping I would not do. I was always there, helping during the summers or on the occasional breaks from college but never at a full-time capacity. I had a lot to learn and still do!
What I think is best about our small family business is that we offer something that our larger competitors cannot. A close one on one working relationship with everyone in your establishment. Eagle Food Service offers complete accountability for your orders. If something is wrong or not up to your standards, we fix it immediately. We ensure you get the freshest and highest quality products. We competitively price. We have no buying minimums. If we do not carry a specific product, we will find it and get it to your door. We work closely with chefs to provide exactly what your establishment wants to offer. We develop, maintain, and grow close professional working relationships with all our customers. And my favorite, we have a relentless pursuit to offer the highest quality customer service in the industry. I thoroughly believe in treating everybody with the up most respect. From the porter who will check in the early morning deliveries all the way up to the owner or owners of the institution we service. This is what you will receive when you decide to use Eagle Food Service as your industry food service provider. Let the Nemecek family work ethic benefit your business. I ensure you; it will be one of the best decisions you make for your restaurant or catering business. Thank you for your time and we look to forward to hearing from you.
Joseph R. Nemecek II