Gerhardt had previously worked in a meat market and locker plant in Arlington, Minnesota giving him the experience to provide custom processing for the area farmers. At that time, the building was comprised of a smokehouse, production area, a foot meat counter and the apartment where Gerhardt and Esther lived and raised their two sons. While their primary focus was custom processing, they steadily grew the retail business. They had one employee.
Michelle's mother and father met in Marshalltown , Iowa. United States. Her mother's family lived in Acapulco , Guerrero , Mexico at that time. Her father and his side of the family are from Marshalltown. For that reason from a young age Michelle was flying back and forth through both countries.