28 Sep Dry Curing Broadbent Country Ham, Bacon and Sausage is truly a Family Tradition.
Dry Curing Broadbent Country Ham, Bacon and Sausage has been a family tradition for over 20 years. Hello, I am Sarah Beth Mason. Broadbent owners, Ronny and Beth Drennan are my parents. They purchased Broadbent’s in 1999. When I learned they were buying Broadbent’s, honestly, I thought, what do they know about Dry Curing Country Hams. Quickly, I learned that my dad’s minimal knowledge came from Drennan family traditions. His dad and granddad had cured country hams. That was it folks…yet he thought he needed to buy a country ham company.
Now this was not my dad’s first business adventure. He had owned other businesses when we were kids. One thing I knew for sure about my parents is they would work hard to be successful. I was a senior in college, working at Cracker Barrel at nights, when I started working for them during the day.
The Early Years of Dry Curing at Broadbent’s
During those first eight years, “the early years” the dry curing facility was located in the Broadbent Seed Company building in Cadiz, Kentucky. As my Dad and Mom begin dry curing Broadbent Country Ham, Bacon and Sausage, so did I. Those were the staple products Broadbent’s produced. We also learned how to slice, package, and cook Country Ham. As graduation came about, my dad and I had a conversation about what I should do next. Cracker Barrel offered opportunities for me to advance, but part of me wanted to stay back and help my parents. Dad told me he thought I needed to get some leadership experience. So, I took a job as a retail manager for Cracker Barrel, moved to Chattanooga, TN. Chattanooga was my home for the next 8 years, but those Kentucky roots run deep. Eventually, Cracker Barrel transferred me closer to home.
The Blessing of Growth at Broadbent’s
Over time, I had watched my parents grow their business. With growth came a new facility in Kuttawa, Kentucky, upgraded equipment and the creation of new products. They won awards at the Fancy Food show in New York. The Broadbent Legacy continued to grow at the Kentucky State Fair, winning the Grand Champion Country Ham competition multiple times. Dad has been a speaker at Camp Bacon at Zimmermans in Ann Arbor, Michigan. These things all amazed me. To say that I am proud of their success is an understatement.
Carrying on the Dry Curing Family Tradition at Broadbent’s
Conversations between mom and I occurred almost every day as I drove home for work. It was just our ritual. One particular day my mom said “would you come by my house on your way home.” When I arrived, she said I need to ask you something, “what would you think about coming to work for us at Broadbent’s?” Let’s face it I had thought about it so many times over the years. I honestly was ready for a change, so after a lot of prayer, I took the leap. Leaving my comfortable job that I was confident, in control, and good at, I became a part of the family tradition at Broadbent B & B Foods in Kuttawa, Kentucky.
A few weeks in, I thought to myself what have I done? Going from knowing everything to knowing nothing is hard no matter what business you’re in. But I jumped in and now two years later I love spending every day with my parents and learning the business. The growth and development from those early days is amazing to me. The equipment improvements that make slicing & packing much faster are one example. Another is how they have built relationships and so many of those have turned into valued friendships.
The Dry Curing Tradition Continues at Broadbent’s
Never fear, my dad still cures the hams. As a part of this family tradition, my primary responsibility is working with our wholesale customers. Getting to know each one of you has been such a blessing. Another enjoyable task is ordering the merchandise for the Broadbent Market. It gives me the opportunity use some of those Cracker Barrel Skills. Tour guide is another hat I wear here at Broadbent. So, if you want to come learn about how we cure Country Hams come on by and I’ll be glad to give you a tour. If you would like to bring a group, just call-in advance.
If you’re interested in selling Dry Cured Broadbent Country Ham, Bacon and Sausage in your Retail Store, call 1-800-841-2202. Ask for Sarah Beth, I welcome the opportunity to work with you as I carry on the Family Tradition.
Always the best… From Our Families Smokehouse to Your Families Table!