Women in Business: Sandy Tuskowski, Ski’s Meat Market
By Jacob Mathias
What began as a jump into the deep end for Sandy Tuskowski ended with the largely successful and expanding enterprise known as Ski’s Meat Market.
Tuskowski began Ski’s Market, which sells high quality meats, cheese, deli products and local favorite homemade bratwursts, just over five years ago after years working selling millwork at Exclusive Millwork, a business she started from scratch. The recession and slowdown in new housing markets told her she needed to make a change.
“The building industry didn’t slow down. It came to a screeching halt,” said Tuskowski.
She and her husband left Exclusive Millwork in the hands of some family members and moved back to Stevens Point to take on a dream they first thought of 10 years earlier.
“I said, ‘I tell you what. It’s now or never,'” she said. “We said ‘let’s do it’…It was very exciting.”
She owns the meat market with her husband Dave and she’s quick to remind anyone that she’s not the owner’s wife but rather a partner in the business.
Tuskowski said on the opening day of the market she and her family were filled with trepidation, worried about what might go wrong in their new venture.
“I remember going, ‘Oh my god. What did we do? What if the computers crash? What if this happens? What if that happens?'” she said. “Even though you have all these trials and tribulations opening up, they all paid off for the end. That means you’re just being attentive.”
At her previous businesses and at Ski’s, Tuskowski said the reason for her success is her dedication not only to offering excellent products but also taking care of her customers and having true passion for the business.
“I love our customers,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to smile at people, look them in the eye and say ‘thank you we appreciate your business…without you we’re not here.”
Tuskowski prefers the amount of work required to own your own business and finds it very rewarding. She said that passion and work ethic transfers on to her employees who share the same goals. She considers them family.
“You have to be prepared to put in the hours…you’ve got to go to the Nth mile to make that happen,” she said. “It doesn’t happen just because you decide to open a business, put up a shingle and say ‘I’m open for business.’ There’s so much more than that.”
With the business’s success, Ski’s added in franchising options, another part of the job that Tuskowski finds rewarding as she helps franchisees find new locations and set them up for future success as well.
When not running the meat market, Tuskowski enjoys cooking and reading in her home in Shantytown and spending time with her five grandchildren.
Ski’s Meat Market is located at 5370 Hwy. 10 East and is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays from 9:00 AM t0 6:00 PM and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.