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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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Fein Brothers has served Milwaukee and beyond for 85 years.

Fein Brothers gives back with Soup Kitchen Makeover


Fein Brothers, 2007 N. Martin Luther King Dr., has sold food service equipment to restaurants and cooks of all kinds for 85 years. In honor of the anniversary, the staff wanted to do something to give back.

Todd Minkin says he and his co-owner, cousin Ben Minkin, called a staff meeting at which the 15 employees came up with the idea of a Soup Kitchen Makeover.

Fein Brothers partnered with other food service industry professionals and will give away thousands of dollars worth of kitchen supplies and equipment to non-profit meal sites in Southeastern Wisconsin.

To apply, meal site coordinators sign up here through Friday, May 23, and every registered site will receive a gift basket of kitchen supplies valued around $200. Businesses or individuals who want to donate items can do so through Saturday, May 31.

The online form asks for basic information about the meal program and why it should receive a kitchen makeover. There is also a "kitchen wish list" section so the makeover will be tailored for the particular site's needs.

Minkin, along with other food service industry sponsors, will then tour the facilities and pick one (or possibly more than one) meal site to completely remodel with new appliances, storage shelving, stainless steel work tables, utensils and whatever else they need to provide the best service.

"We are looking for the site or sites most in need," says Minkin.

Minkin bought Fein Brothers in 2009 after working for the business for 25 years. He started sweeping floors as a kid and later drove a delivery truck during summer vacations and eventually became a full-time employee of the company. His father worked for Fein Brothers for 50 years.

Fein Brothers has been in business since 1929 and has expanded many times. It currently has 30,000 square feet of showroom space with an additional 30,000 square feet of warehouse space.

The showroom stocks more than 60,000 kitchen-related items.

All of the meal site coordinators will be invited to an event in June at Rail Hall, owned by Gravity Marketing, where the winner will be announced. The exact date and time of the event will soon be announced.

"Anyone in the community who participates in the Soup Kitchen Makeover in any way is invited to the event," says Minkin.

Fein Brothers continues to thrive despite the strong presence of chain suppliers. Minkin says what sets Fein Brothers apart from other larger companies is pretty simple.

"There is a lot of competition but our customers appreciate our extremely high level of customer service," says Minkin.

The fact the business is based in Milwaukee has been key to the company's success.

"This is a community that really understands and supports local business," says Minkin. "It embraces businesses like Fein Brothers. Because of this, Milwaukee has allowed us to be in business for this many years. And that is exactly why we have chosen to give back to the community."

Fein Brothers is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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