Local food supplier offers truck sale during pandemic

Community members took advantage of a truckload sale from Upper Lakes Foods this week, as the company has seen its wholesale business dip with restaurants being closed to dine-in service.

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Tom Sorensen, Upper Lakes Food beverage and chemical service manager keeps busy Tuesday, March 24 carrying and loading boxes into vehicles during a truck sale in Cloquet. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

Upper Lakes Food offered the public an opportunity to purchase products during a truck sale Tuesday, March 24.

The business normally supplies food products to restaurants and other food service establishments. But life is not normal anymore and many businesses need to adapt, said Tom Sorensen, beverage and chemical service manager, as he took orders.

Upper Lakes Food spread the word about the sale on Facebook, and vehicles lined up before the 11 a.m. opening.

Boxes of a variety of vegetables and fruit were stacked next to several semi trailers holding bulk products. The products were set out on tables for residents to see.


Sorensen was loading vehicles with boxes and helping customers as most stayed in their vehicles. He said the company had a surplus of food products since restaurants can no longer offer dine-in service.

He said the burgers, bacon and vegetable boxes were the fastest sellers in the first hour.

"We're trying to provide people with essential products, both perishable and non-perishable, in an effort to help the community in the best way we can," said Mariah Berg, creative services manager.

Carlton resident Christopher Hall saw the post on Facebook in the morning and decided to load up on bacon and burgers for his family of seven.

“This will definitely help get us through the next few months,” Hall said as he sat in his vehicle in line.

Upper Lakes Foods believes this was a one-time sale, but advised people to watch their Facebook page in case they decide to hold another one.

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Tyler Ryan checks a customer out during Upper Lakes Food truck sale Tuesday, March 24. In the background, employees wait to haul bulk food products out of the semi trucks as customers decide what they want to purchase. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

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