Local Vendor Spotlight: Pederson’s Natural Farms
Stacy Dudley, "The Paleo Cowgirl", Vice President of Marketing and Hans Van Der Enden, Sales Manager, filled us in on the Pederson's story.
1. How and why did Pederson’s get started?
Based in Hamilton, Texas, we have been producing fresh and smoked natural meat products since 1992. Our mantra is "real people making real food using natural meats raised with humane and environmentally safe practices.
What do you get when you throw two good ol’ boys and lifelong best buds into a business together? Success! Pederson's hired Comanche native Cody Lane for Quality Assurance straight out of college in 2001. With a degree in Ag Business Food and Fiber Marketing from Texas A&M University, Cody quickly gained respect from the owner of the all-natural meats producer. Within a year, Cody was promoted to President of Pederson's Natural Farms. And, it didn't take long for him to realize that this company could grow and grow steadily. With that in mind, he called upon his lifelong best friend Neil Dudley to come work alongside him as Vice President.
Growing up, the pair were respectable and hard working young men. Their personal integrity and work ethic pulses through the company which they've successfully grown since coming on board ten years ago. Since these two Comanche homegrown boys took the reins, the pair have nearly doubled the gross annual sales.
As Cody is celebrating his tenth year with Pederson's, the company celebrates its 20th year as a premier producer of all natural fresh and smoked meat products. Started in 1992 with just two employees and the sale of the famous Applewood Smoked Bacon, Pederson's faced all the obstacles that any small business faces and then some.
Despite two fires leaving the company's production plant in ashes, Pederson's has steadily grown. Pederson's credits its success to its unwavering integrity, and the company is sure to back up their words with actions. With top priorities being safety and quality, Pederson's has taken every rigorous step to become Safe Quality Food (SQF) 2000 Level 3 Certified.
"That certification aligns with everything we value: safety and the highest quality standards. We're of the belief that actions speak louder than words. We can make claims all day long, but this certification brings the highest level of validation,” Cody Lane, President.
The company's down home, honest to goodness business model has been rewarded with loyal employees, a loyal community, and loyal customers – not to mention steady growth. And, Pederson's gladly offers a steadfast loyalty in return. After a devastating fire in June of 2001, the small Texas community of Hamilton rallied around Pederson's in an effort to get the company up and running again. With only one production day lost, Pederson's chose to honor their roots and rebuild in Hamilton County.
The support of countless folks from the very beginning combined with Pederson's principles has culminated in the successful production of superior quality all natural meats. Specifically famous for "makin' bacon", here are some interesting statistics from Pederson's Natural Farms about just how much bacon they make annually:
• 1.5 million pounds of bacon each year
• 21 million slices
• End to end, that's 2,982 miles of bacon
• It's enough bacon to stretch across North America and halfway back
That's a lot of bacon!
Whether asked to reflect on Pederson's first 20 years in business or to look toward the future, Vice President Neil Dudley's assessment remains the same.
“We run our business as a marathon not a sprint. Our goal is to build our business on well-founded relationships! We believe in honesty, safety, quality, and efficiency…in that order. Pederson's Natural Farms isn't the biggest; it's just the best!"
2. How does y’all’s pork differ from other producer’s?
We make food you can feel good about feeding your family. All of our products are made from pork that is humanely-raised without the use of antibiotics or growth stimulants and fed no animal by-products ever. They have no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and no added nitrites or nitrates. They are gluten free, MSG free, and, aside from the Jalapeño & Cheese Sausage, they are lactose-free, too.
3. Tell us a little about the No Sugar products.
We were listening to our consumers and team members, and we recognized the huge gaping hole in the market. In fact, in 2012, we had a consumer plea submitted on our website that read as follows: "Us health conscience eaters prefer the sugar out of our bacon. Please produce a product that contains NO SUGAR! Your bacon is too sweet for our group of Paleo dieters. Would appreciate your consideration on the matter." Eight weeks later, we took No Sugar Bacon to retail!
So, guess what?! We value the varying and ever evolving needs of health conscious eaters and bacon lovers. We valued the voice of this one single consumer. We made No Sugar Bacon. We are grateful that Pederson's is in the position to provide this kind of superior product to nationally well known and loved markets like Wheatsville that share our same values.
4. What is your favorite thing about Wheatsville?
Wheatsville is a grassroots Texas local co-op that sells good for you foods. They are a big supporter of Pederson's Natural Farms. We deeply appreciate that!
5. Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share?