Family businesses are called the backbone of the American economy for a reason. They make up 80-90% of all businesses in North America and are responsible for more than 60% of the U.S. gross domestic product as well as more than 60% of U.S. employment. They’re also a way for parents to provide for future generations.
That was Arturo Morales’s goal when he had the idea for a meat processing business. A retired meat cutter for the U.S. Army, Morales and his wife, Gloria, wanted to leave a legacy for their family and also serve their local community of Cochise County, AZ. So, he started training his sons — Ron, JD, and Jerry — on the art of meat cutting, and in 2013, the Morales family opened Morales Meat Masters.
Morales Meat Masters’ customers include both hunters and private beef and hog owners. The company processes everything from beef and pork to elk, bison, deer, javelina, and pronghorn.
To serve all of their customers, especially during hunting season, the business needs a lot of cooler space. “Our walk-in is one of the largest in the county — roughly 35,000 square feet,” Ron Morales told us. “It can hold 57 beef.”
They purchased two traditional commercial units, one 10’x14’ freezer and one 15’x24’ cooler with a meat rail system. Then, they started to run into problems.
“We have a horror story where we had $10,000 worth of beef hanging in the walk-in, and the unit wasn’t holding the temperature,” Ron says. “I couldn’t get ahold of the HVAC technician, so our whole family spent four hours breaking down the beef into smaller units. That’s when I got fed up with the HVAC companies — if a unit goes down and I have beef in the walk-in it costs me money. If I were to lose the product, it would be detrimental to our business.”
A desire to avoid repeating that experience motivated Ron to look for a DIY solution, which led him to a YouTube video about the CoolBot. He watched some videos, explored the Store It Cold website, and contacted the CoolBot team for assistance in deciding how many CoolBots to use and what kind of air conditioner he needed. Because of the large size of the room, he ended up installing two CoolBots, a process he describes as “super simple.”
“When the commercial units were working, they could hold the room at 38-39°F,” Ron says (41°F is the legal requirement). “With two CoolBots and two LG 25K BTU air conditioners, I can get the room down to 36°F. My dad is ecstatic. He keeps saying, ‘Son, where did you find this?’”
In addition to the low-cost cooling power, which Ron says is “way better than the commercial units,” what he likes best is the peace of mind he has not having to rely on HVAC technicians. “Better than the monetary savings is the reliability that if something happens, I can go to Home Depot and replace the air conditioner that same day. I don’t have to call the A/C guy, and that has alleviated a bunch of stress for our family.”
He also likes how easy it is to start up and shut down. “Our business is seasonal, so we don’t leave them running all of the time. The CoolBot saves us money and hassle there as well. Overall, we couldn’t be happier.”
As you know, we love hearing these kinds of stories. Our customers are our reason for being, and we’re thrilled to be able to support small family businesses like Morales Meat Masters. We wish them success for many generations to come!
If you’re in Cochise County and need a meat processor, check out Morales Meat Masters at 3334 N Kings Hwy in Douglas. You can also follow them on Facebook.