It’s not often we see businesses that can trace their roots before Cambro’s 60+ years but our next runner up in the Caterer Challenge 2 evolved from Meier’s Meat in 1947 to become Meier’s BBQ and Catering in Salt Lake City, Utah!
They shared some really great stories regarding the Cambro Insulated Transporter (300MPC) – we were impressed with the durability of product in such challenging conditions.
A Tower of Cambros
There are caterers, good caterers and then there are legendary caterers. We are legendary and Cambro has helped us build this legendary reputation. Let me explain.
During the hot summer months here in Utah we have the opportunity to feed the Wild Land Fire Fighters that fight the fires in the West Desert between Salt Lake City and Wendover, Nevada. Often times the base camps for the fire fighters are in very remote locations with 3 to 4 hours of travel on dangerous desert mountain roads and sometimes the dirt roads are just darn right ridiculous. This one evening we sent a crew with a van loaded full of food and Cambros to the fire camp as we had done so many other times that week. Unfortunately this time the treacherous desert mountain road got the best of the overloaded Chevy Van. As the driver approached a hair pin turn in the road the van kept going straight and as soon as the wheels touched that soft desert sand it flipped & rolled down the embankment. Soda bottles exploded upon impact and so did the windshield! When the van came to a stop the caterers hung upside down suspended my their seatbelts. Once out of the seatbelts and after the blood flowed back off their brains they realized they were still alive and their thoughts returned to getting the food to the fire fighters. Cell phone service is very limited in the West Desert so they unloaded the upside down hotboxes from the upside down smashed up van and made a Cambro tower to climb on to call dispatch.
Fortunately they were only 10 minutes from fire camp so within minutes a fire truck had responded to the rescue call to administer aid as needed. Upon arrival of the fire tuck at the accident scene the caterers started loading Cambro Hot Boxes onto the fire truck. Within 30 minutes from the time of the accident the catering was set up and ready to go on time. When the Cambros were opened at dinner it was like nothing had ever happened. Before dinner was served 100 dirty hungry fire firefighters chanted in unison… MEIER’S – MEIER’S – MEIER’S. And so a legend was born. You might say seatbelts save lives… but here at Meier’s Catering we say Cambro Hot Boxes save caterings.
Cambro Helipad (aka 300MPC)
We have a contract with the National Forest Service to feed the wild land Fire Fighters during the summer fire season. Often times we are asked to go to very remote locations. This one time in particular is forever impressed upon our minds or I should say impressed upon our Cambro Hot Box. When we got to the fire camp that evening they informed us that the fire crew would be staying on the mountain over night to fight the fire so all the food needed to be sent up in the helicopter. Then they asked us to load all of the Hotboxes, food and supplies onto the net that was lying on the helicopter landing pad. As the Helicopter picked up the net, all the supplies were rolled up into a ball. Hotboxes full of BBQ Chicken and Ribs, always a fire fighter’s favorite, that were once sitting flat now were facing down and swaying in the air hundreds of feet above the ground. We were informed that when we brought breakfast out in the morning the same procedure would apply and breakfast would be flown into the crews on the mountain.
The next morning we once again loaded up the net laying on the helicopter pad and within minutes the helicopter returned to pickup breakfast and drop off the empty Cambro Hot Boxes. And trust me they were dropped… from the sky, but that’s not the worst of it.
When we went to the helicopter pad to retrieve our hotboxes they weren’t just dirty, but one of our Hot Boxes had a big crack all the way around it. When we asked what happened to our hot box, apologetically they told us that last night when the chopper was delivering dinner the wind abruptly shifted direction and the chopper had to make an emergency landing. And it landed right on top of dinner, which explains why you see the big crack in the Hot Box. Quickly we were reassured not to worry because the Hot Box held up under the pressure of the chopper and the chicken and ribs were delicious.
We are thankful for the great folks at Meier’s for their dedication to feed all those who work in such dangerous conditions. As a runner up, Meier’s will receive $500 in Cambro products!