Made in Eastern Iowa: Stacks and stacks of sandwiches

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MARENGO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- When most people go to a gas station and pick up a sandwich from the cooler, do they turn the clear plastic label onto its back and see where it comes from?

Pride of Iowa Sandwiches, in Marengo, can produce tens of thousands of sandwiches each day that often arrive in stores, schools, work sites, disaster areas and prisons.

Thousands of sandwiches come from a small but highly productive shop in Marengo, right on Highway 6 on the eastern stretch of town.

"It goes all over the United States," said Zach Woods, the chief financial officer and general manager with Pride of Iowa. "It'll go to Oklahoma City. It goes to Kum 'n Go, all across the Midwest, nationwide. It's good, really good."

Pride of Iowa Sandwiches is in the back of Woody's, a discount grocery store with a few aisles, mostly of snacks but also with a freezer and cold section. Behind the grocery checkout are a couple dozen workers on the task of making the cheeseburgers, the chicken sandwiches or the more niche sandwiches such as the twin chili dog or "The Gambler."

Woods says Pride of Iowa specializes in assembling the sandwiches in a hurry when a company or group needs reliable food quickly.

"They call us up and it's in a complete panic, okay, and we need sandwiches and meals right away," Woods said. "So we're good because we like to make sandwiches and we're pretty good at it. We get stuff out right away and everybody is pretty excited. We can usually turn it in two or three days."

The swift turnaround can pay off during unforeseen events, such as the recent hurricane recovery efforts where food needed to be on scene.

"About 25,000 (sandwiches) a day," Woods said when asked the volume that Pride of Iowa can crank out.

The more consistent clients also include schools, prisons and educational programs.

"We do a lot in West Virginia, a lot in California, some in Texas," said Woods. "Those are our big ones and we started a deal in Minnesota, Sacramento, Atlanta feeding programs in the summertime."