When the skies darkened and heavy rains smashed the North Shore last summer, Dave and Denise Zier decided to turn a problem into a party. Once Zier’s Prime Meats and Poultry in Wilmette lost power, the co-owners set up their pig roaster on the sidewalk, grilled some sausages and handed them out to passers-by.
“I think it was trying to make the best out of a bad situation,” Dave says. “We were all trading storm stories, and it was just a nice thing to do.”
But it wasn’t the first time the couple gave away food for a good cause. In fact, they do it frequently. For the past few years, the Ziers have donated pig roasts, hamburgers, bratwurst and steaks to the New Trier Booster Club and Tri-Ship, to show their support for the high school and its athletes.
“It helps pay for some of the athletic fields and whatever the kids need for sports that some fees don’t pay for,” Dave said.
Zier’s Prime Meats also sponsors a team for the Wilmette Baseball Association every year, and they supply local schools with food items and gift certificates to raffle off at silent auctions and fundraisers. While Dave said these donations are great for advertising and spreading his business’ name in the community, that’s not why the Ziers do it.
“If it’s beneficial to the community, that’s the number one reason,” he said.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Wilmette knows first-hand how beneficial the Zier’s generosity can be. Every year, the store donates food for the church’s silent auction, Memorial Day Run and Oktoberfest Celebration.
With so much activity in the community, the Ziers have come to be recognized by many North Shore residents, both as business-people and as friends.
“One of the butchers mentioned one time that we’re not in the meat business, we’re in the making-friends business.” Dave says.
Zier’s Prime Meats and Poultry is located at 813 Ridge Rd., in Wilmette. For more information, visit www.ziersprime.com.