Zaycon closing? Wow, I cannot even tell you how much I am shocked to write this post. I have talked about Zaycon so much in 7 years. I was one of Zaycon’s first customers and I have almost exclusively purchased all of my family’s meats from them in that time.
Zaycon closing it’s doors. Is Zaycon filing for bankruptcy? Will Zaycon refund customers? Will Zaycon open again?
All of these are questions I never thought I would have to address or say.
I am very sad and disappointed.
What Has Happened To Zaycon Fresh Foods?
Later in the afternoon of June 25th, 2018, the Zaycon website made a shocking announcement:
In case you can’t see or read the image, the ONLY thing on the Zaycon website are these words:
“It is with deep regret that we inform you that as of June 25th, we are suspending business operations.
Zaycon Fresh has put forth monumental efforts to endure recent challenges but conditions are such that this suspension is necessary.
Updates will be forthcoming as we are able to provide them. Thank You”
Yes, Zaycon closed it’s doors and closed them abruptly. In fact, just that morning, the employees were doing their jobs as normal, sending out marketing emails, delivering meats to local areas, and so on. The site was up and working and then in a split second it was gone and all that was there was the above announcement.
However, no one received an email, a text or anything else. This was the only notification and it was only found if you went to their website.
I am heartbroken and upset. I have a long history with Zaycon has a loyal customer and I have been telling all of you about it for years. It was one of the key ways we were able to keep our grocery budget low and eat higher quality. In case you are not familiar with Zaycon Fresh Foods, I encourage you to read this article.
It was a very popular company, a popular service and a popular product. To nearly everyone that was introduced to it, it made sense and they had a very loyal customer base. I am friends with the original owner/founder – Mike Conrad. In fact, he was one of the owner/partners and the name Zaycon comes from one founder’s name combined with the other founder’s name (zayCON = CONrad). That’s how they came up with the name.
Zaycon has blessed many people over the years with high quality meats – direct from farmer to customer. No middle man and thus fresh and far cheaper. It was a meat co-op that made sense in so many ways.
Zaycon was set-up and ran like a champ.
Until two years ago…..
Zaycon thought it was time to make some big growth. Thus they brought on a myriad of investors. They kept bringing on investors through different stages of the business until finally Mike Conrad was no longer an owner and had given up his part of the business and could no longer make decisions. Conrad still worked for Zaycon until June 25th, but he wasn’t part of the operations and decision making on the high level.
In that two year’s time, the group of investors drug Zaycon to the ground. They seemed to no longer maintain that same customer service and quality that Mike had worked so hard for.
The past year or so, Zaycon has had to move delivery dates over and over, when this rarely happened before. Sometimes it was due to truck maintenance and issues, other times it was a delay in production, sometimes it was weather, etc. But it really started becoming the norm and incredibly frustrating for all.
Another decision that had been made with the new operations team was to move all production to one company. This goes against the very basic concept of “not putting your eggs all in one basket.” These businessmen and women made that very fatal mistake and it was indeed fatal.
In May of 2018, just last month – this company that provided all of their meats (except their boneless, skinless chicken breast) completely dropped the ball. They were not able to meet production on pretty much every product that Zaycon offered. Zaycon was informed of this at the last minute. That meant that pretty much every customer’s order had to be delayed by weeks and in some cases, but two months. This meat production company ruined it all!
As a result, tens of thousands of customers sought refunds on their delayed orders (justifiably). Thus, Zaycon refunded millions and millions of dollars. They have spent the last month trying to recover and get business back going again. But they just couldn’t. They ran until the last possible second and then it crumbled.
In speaking with my friend Mike, he doesn’t know exactly what Zaycon’s future is. He’s not the one making decisions. But there are talks of them claiming Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (speculation until it is a fact) and restructuring/reorganizing.
It is hard for me to think that Zaycon could ever recover from this. It is so incredibly sad that a business that was nearly flawless in concept and in form for five years could completely fall apart in two years.
In speaking with my friend, I asked how a business with a solid foundation, super loyal customers and a great product/service could be so badly mishandled and fall so quickly – it’s really quite simple.
It all goes back to that VERY BASIC concept of NOT putting your eggs all in one basket. This is a life lesson for everyone in their own lives, in their own businesses, in their own investments, etc. This is a prime example and life lesson.
We too have put our eggs all in one basket before. It was a ruin to us in that area of our lives too. It’s rarely a good idea.
Here’s What You Need To Do:
I don’t know what Zaycon’s future is, but regardless, it’s a stained and tarnished one. We have talked about them so much that I am afraid that many of you have outstanding orders with them.
You need to go to your bank/credit/debit card companies and dispute the charges for fraudulent charges. I do not know if they will be able to or plan to automatically reimburse customers who have not received their orders. I do know that there is a hierarchy of debts when a company does a reorganizing bankruptcy, but I don’t know how that will play out or where customers will fall. I would assume customers would be near the top, but I don’t want any of you to take a risk on counting on that.
Please contact your bank/credit/debit card companies immediately and file that dispute. Please. I don’t know how long the process will take to get your money back, I do hope it is quick.
We are so very sorry for all of this and I am shaking my head as I am writing this. I am completely dumbfounded and blindsided. I still don’t understand how this new leadership could be so short-sighted? It was a basic business mistake that caused this company to crumble so fast and it makes me sick.
But you can guarantee that this will be the prime example of not putting your eggs in one basket scenario that I will use and will go down in my example history!
Let us know if you were able to get refunded or successfully dispute the charges.
(06/27/2018 at 5:40 pm) -This was a news article done by the local news is Spokane today: Customers left confused after closure of Spokane Valley-based meat delivery company
Please note, we will be making continual updates to this post as we know more. Again, I am friends with the original founder and will be asking more and more questions as the days and weeks go by and will add more to this as I know.
Thank you for taking the time to explore this disappointing news. I appreciate your efforts. I was informed of this development while sitting and waiting at a school for pickup. I wonder if there are any other similar type businesses? I been bragging about my order for months.. .. Anyways off to the bank I go. Thank you once again.
Since they delayed it 2-3 times. Will the bank refund something I paid for last fall?
I had two orders more than 60 days ago but I had the email and texts from Zaycon with the new delivery date. Keep that documentation in case they ask for proof, the new date started the clock over for those orders. I got my money back in my account including finance charges today!
I ordered chicken breast last February with a June pick up date. I thought the length of time was sort of crazy. Then order got pushed forward a day which messed up my plans but I changed everything to meet it. Then four days before, they cancelled. I did get a refund. They offered me a deal to take a different date but something didn’t seem right, so I declined. Glad I followed my instincts.
You fail to mention the fact that they defrauded an investor for 6.5 million dollars!! This alone would put them into Chapter 11 as well as send some people to jail. Zaycon is dead in the water and that’s a real shame because their business concept was great!!
Yes – I know about the lawsuit as well, but I am getting the facts on it. From what I know, they had a billionaire investor that was spending tons of money, hiring his own staff with high salaries and taking the company in directions that the original owners and board did not think was in the best interest of the company. So they fired him. He retaliated by suing them for 6.5 million for defamation.
However, he has refused mediation and said that his goal was to bring Zaycon down. Zaycon has won twice, but he keeps appealing it because he doesn’t want to stop until they were done for. That’s what I know, but it’s only one side and only from reading the legal docs. I have known about it for over a year because I do know the owner.
I do believe that this legal battle, combined with the big processing issue in May from the farmer processor – the combo of the two is what did them in. They couldn’t recover. They probably could have handled one and recovered, but both was fatal.
This is not what I and my friend (who is an attorney) have read in the legal documents. This investor took a company that was making 25 million a year to well over 35 million in LESS than a year. The investor has a sound reputation in business.
You say that you are friends with one of the owners, would he be the same one who was handling money under the table to his pocket and showing the investor fake records??! You are close to someone so you can’t be objective on the issues.
February, March, and April Zaycon offered chicken for .99 pound. No one could make a profit off of that and it probably depleted the suppliers supply which is why there was an issue in May.
I honestly do hope that someone with the capital and the business sense to do it starts up their own company. Lets face it, the concept on how Zaycon did business was GREAT and people loved it. The earning potential is there.
This helps explain why some of the meat seemed rancid; salmon, rib eyes were not good this past year. Bacon and chicken were good though.
We literally got out bacon order the Friday before their closing. I was wondering when our order was postponed for a month. DW, who picked up the order told me the driver was not his usually talkative self. I suspect he saw the handwriting on the wall. Hopefully the original owners can restart without these investors
I have almost $400 in outstanding orders!!! I now have to figure out which card I used to make these orders and see if I can get the charges cancelled even though the purchases were made last month and this month. I’m sorry to see Zaycon go. My freezer is well stocked thanks to them and I know I’ve saved $ by not buying meat at the grocery stores.
THank you for this explanation. We’ve been disappointed with their bacon this last year- tastes spoiled and had to throw lots away. It explains why the quality and customer service have been lacking.
WOW!! I am at a lost for words! I placed an order as a newbie and then they sent me another great deal so I ordered that. the pickup times were changed twice on me with pickup taking place in Aug instead of June 15 and then the 14th and then August. I even bought a small deep freezer so I could store 80 pounds of meat. smh I will file a dispute now so I can get my money back hopefully. Thanks for the heads up.
I just got off the phone with my credit card company. The rep said that I was the second customer who called today; she expected a lot more callers. Thankfully I was able to get my money back. I went back and had my credit card statement, copies of the email order receipt, the emails from Zaycon telling me of the changes in delivery dates for my outstanding order and the email from yesterday telling me of my order cancellation and the business suspension. I didn’t need all of that, but the rep said that I might need it if Zaycon disputes the dispute. The Visa rep said that it was probably unlikely that Zaycon would dispute it though.
I am disappointed as I really liked the products that I’ve gotten over the past couple of years. I had to apologize to the people who I had just referred to the company. Two of them have outstanding orders as well. As much as this was an inconvenience for me, I feel for those who are now left without a job. Those employees and their families will be in my prayers.
Was irritates me is the 3-4 emails I was getting a day, A DAY! They were trying to drum up more cash. Trying to STEAL more cash because you know that the upper management knew they were going under. THAT’S FRAUD.
I’d warn them to keep an eye open over their shoulders but it won’t do any good because karma’s bitch and you never see her coming!
I too was frustrated with the amount of emails sent out. I called Zaycon to see if I had any options of maybe 1-4 a WEEK. The rep said that it was all or nothing. I chose nothing. (Kind of glad I did now; I probably would have been enticed by some recent deal they had.). It’s too bad that they continued the emails the way they did until the end though. I can see why some customers would be livid!
One thing we can all do is pray! It sounds like the forces of evil are at work but God is greater. Pray that the evil will be brought down. God has mysterious ways of working out His will. Better than anything we can think or imagine. Praying for Mike and the zaycon business….
This scenario is exactly why I don’t deal with these types of companies. Too many ways to fail when there are too many “bosses”. I still prefer to buy from a reliable local supplier, have it processed locally where I can have a say in how it’s processed and packaged, I pick it up to bring home to my freezer once a year.. It requires the purchase of a decent freezer, but is well worth it. In the past 40+ years I have replaced my freezer once so the investment has paid for itself over and over.
My credit card company hopped right on it, and yes, lots of ppl calling in about it. I will miss the bacon and chicken! Now onto try to find a new company to deal with.
ELAINE D SMITH
So sorry to hear about Zaycon, and I hope the original businessman can re-start or start anew. I had planned on placing orders but due to other budget issues had not ordered. Someone was looking out for me it seems. Or I would have been out over $500
The thing that makes me the most disappointed is that they KNEW they were going under, but they continued to send out e-mails asking for more orders. What dishonest people. I got one on the 20th of June and my daughter got one one the 23rd. That is total dishonesty and it makes me sick that people would do this to other people. I hope those who got their money taken can get it back — and I hope the people responsible for stealing from the customers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
totally agree, I work hard for my money to be stolen from me
Robin c.f. hrisrobin
I personally think they were “set up” to be taken down. I hope the founder who is an obvious genius starts up again under a new name. I hope My husband and I would be added to a customer loyalty list. A man who was interested in bringing such quality food to any average American at an affordable price would not also purposefully rip anyone else off for millions. The BIG time retailers did not want him to success or anyone like him…If he does not restart we are doomed to eat frankenfoods or overpay locally. Pray for this company and this man…Robin and Chris Chanyi email@example.com
My bank will not do anything because they said I authorized this purchase so it is a merchant dispute and I have o take it up with the company. i told them there is no longer a company and they said they still can’t do anything. They suggested filing a police report. What else can I do to get my money back?
Thanks for this information! I had $2200 in orders! Credit card gave it all back to me. Hopefully Zaycon won’t disput it.
I had noticed the quality of meat has not been the same for about 18 months and each order seemed worse. Very sad! I loved this concept and I hope someone else starts a similar business with quality meat.
Katie The Iron Heart Mama
I have been working on this all week because so many are being denied their right to even dispute the charges. Even those that had their money returned are still at risk! I did research and talked to my financial institution this morning. A provisional credit is NOT a refund, which means we might have to pay that back. If you think this would be helpful, I would love for you to share it.
Long time Zaycon customer. I am so sad. Looking for another company to buy in bulk with great food. Anyone know if another company?
My bank will not refund on debit card since it has been more than 60 days even though I have documentation of the orders and delivery dates being postponed.
No, I was not refunded my money. My bank will not either because even though I have cancellation notice and order number, Zaycon’s auto receipts didn’t include amounts… just the notice. The bank wanted a number to go with the price. I couldn’t access my history because they shut the site down. No doubt that was planned and executed as a protection to Zaycon.
I disputed the charges the day after I heard and filed it with my bank but my bank states that they can’t do anything about it and that the refund would have to come from Zaycon. I’m stuck without meat AND over $200!
Im highly disappointed in this company. If they knew they were having trouble why continue taking money. they owe me money and there is no way to contact them. sorry for your luck is what they should have posted
Thank you for updating us! I unfortunately can not request a refund through the credit card company because I closed several cards and do not know which I put it on. I can’t even sign on to see which. Sadly, I am very disappointed just like everyone else. I was very excited about my first order through Zaycon and if they every do bounce back, I won’t be ordering.
I am SOOOO sorry to see Zaycon gone…………….as I slowly watch my stash of chicken breasts, 98% lean hamburger (without pink slime) and pork tenderloin vanish. I don’t think I can STAND to buy meat at a grocery store again. I may have to find someone willing to split a cow with me………but that doesn’t answer the chicken problem. I had ordered that last sale they sent out for chicken breasts at .99 a pound even though I didn’t need it. But the delivery date wasn’t scheduled until October (which I thought was an AWFULLY long time). However, it somehow never got charged to the card, as best as we can tell. Unless it would have been listed as something other than Zaycon foods. Someone needs to look at the ORIGINAL business model and start it up again and KEEP to that original business plan and NOT take on investors with lofty goals and get rich quick schemes. I have two full sized freezers that were stocked full of meat. Since Mom died, we’re only feeding two of us so our “stash” is lasting a little longer but I still see it being whittled away. One pkg of three of those HUMONGOUS chicken breasts will last the two of us for 2 if not 3 meals!!! And we had to stop grilling the 98% lean hamburgers and cook them on the stove instead because they were so fat free that they got too dried out on the grill. Small price to pay!!! I hate to see the founder get screwed over by others when he had such a great business going. I hate bankruptcy and what it does to the “low man on the totem pole”. I was working for Braniff when they went under. Paychecks bounced. Employees lost their homes. My retirement fund that I had paid into for over 13 years, with matching funds from the company? I got a check for about $30. It was devastating.
9-19-2018: I have not been able to obtain a full refund for all my Zaycon orders. The last order I put in (Salmon) was the only refund I have received. My bank informed me since the chicken breasts and thighs were ordered in April 2018, it was too old to dispute. I think this is BS! I cannot afford to “eat” $286.99. I wish I had done my homework and investigated Zaycon’s history. Had I noticed they were having problems in 2010, I certainly would not have ever ordered any products from them.
I work for a bank, visa, mastercard, AMX, discover all have guidelines and time limits on charging purchases back to the merchant. Anyone who got their money back after they company closed, thank your bank, they took the loss for you.
I got part of my money reimbursed from my credit card and one debit card. However since my other charges on my other bank debit card were over 90 days I am out over 200 and lost credit with the company for all the cancelled orders. I depended on them and they let me down. All parties involved should be ashamed of themselves. I work two jobs to make end meet. It really hurt to loose that money that I budgeted for food. It has since caused me to stop doing as much business with small business. Shame on them.
They’re back in business and now offering fresh fruit also. I loved their products and hope with the new owners/management it will be a smooth sail.