PHOTO/DAVID ROBERT: Kate Castro, Bernadette Flocchini, Steve Flocchini and Ryan Flocchini, of Sierra Meat & Seafood.

Since 1934, the Flocchini family (pronounced flo-kini, like zucchini)—owners of Sierra Meat & Seafood, Durham Bison Ranch and Flocchini Family Provisions—have offered natural, sustainable and wholesome proteins.

Now in its fourth generation of leadership, the family is focusing on growth, community support and getting products directly to your family table.

In 2018, to continue growing and thriving, the Flocchini family decided to sell a portion of Sierra Meat & Seafood to a private equity firm, which the Flocchinis point out is also a family-owned business.

“Some people in the community get confused and think that we’re not a family-owned business anymore,” said Bernadette Flocchini, executive vice president and director of specialty and exotic proteins at Sierra Meat & Seafood. “They think we’ve gone down that corporate route when, really, we simply reached out for more family support. This private equity firm owns portions of other food companies much like ours that are family-owned. They’re not the kind of company that comes in and makes demands. They simply evaluate, figure out where we’re lacking, suggest solutions and then hold our hand until we fully implement these solutions.”

Sierra Meat & Seafood, in fact, has more family members working in the building than ever before.

“Family businesses are dying in America, and the passion of our family members within this private equity firm is to support family businesses and help them not only survive, but also thrive,” said Kate Castro, the merchandising manager (and Bernadette’s daughter). “They bring talent and support services to small family businesses such as ours to help us streamline processes. It’s very impactful.”

Sierra Meat & Seafood has always been supportive of Northern Nevada causes and invites nonprofits, customers and vendors to reach out to them when in need.

During the pandemic, when food service was hit so hard, the family realized that they needed to diversify their business. At the time, Sierra Meat & Seafood’s business was 95% food service and 5% retail.

“We love supporting our community, and I think many don’t realize that they can reach out to us,” Castro said. “We’re so privileged to be surrounded by all this food all the time. We want to help those who may be hungry, and with our partners in the community, especially our customers and vendors, we want to support their staff and fundraising efforts. Most importantly, our family wants to have the opportunity to support them through tough times. In these cases, we really have a no-questions-asked policy.”

Their family is focusing on retail efforts. During the pandemic, when food service was hit so hard, the family realized that they needed to diversify their business. At the time, their business was 95% food service and 5% retail. Since COVID, while food service sales have bounced back, retail has continued to thrive. Proteins can be ordered via the website or by calling 775-322-4073. Castro said orders placed before 3 p.m. will be available for pick up the next day.

“The best part about this is that if you’re ordering steaks, we are going cut them that next morning, and you’re going have them as fresh as can be,” she said.

In addition to personal orders, Sierra Meat & Seafood holds quarterly cooler sales. Dates of these sales are released via the company’s Facebook and Instagram.

“The cooler sales are exciting new events that we started doing last year,” Castro said. “For one day each quarter, we open our warehouse, have everything out on pallets with sampling stations, and sell our proteins at a flat rate per pound. Since we’re a wholesale distributor, at these sales, we break our proteins down into smaller quantities for the average person.”

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Cheree Boteler is the founder of Hungry in Reno, a brand created to support local food and drink establishments by sharing reputable, interesting, innovative and exciting food and drink experiences with...

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