If you didn’t already know, I am currently researching and writing the Barbecue Lovers Guide to the Carolinas: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions. It will cover both North Carolina and South Carolina. Having travelled both states extensively I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing folks, many who have become good friends.
On these travels I had the opportunity to meet with Richard Averitte, Marketing Director of Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q and spend a great afternoon learning about the history of this beloved North Carolina restaurant group.
The news this week that Smithfield Foods was sold to a Chinese company threw many folks into a tizzy. “Omg” was the word of the day, and all social media feeds went crazy with people believing NC’s Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q would no longer be the NC institution it has become. The fact is Smithfield Foods is a completely separate company.
Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the world’s largest pork producer and processor. Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, it runs facilities in 26 U.S. states, including the largest slaughterhouse and meat-processing plant in the world, located in Tar Heel, North Carolina. (Via Wikipedia)
According to the Washington Post “Smithfield Foods, whose signature hams helped make it the world’s largest pork producer, is being bought by a Chinese firm in a deal that marks China’s largest takeover of an American consumer brand.” To read the full article, go here.
Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q on the other hand is an American owned and operated company with a 40-year history of serving the fried chicken and Eastern-North-Carolina-style Bar-B-Q, made fresh daily from family recipes and served in a family-friendly atmosphere. Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q have over 30 locations in North Carolina with plans to expand. Visit http://www.SCNBNC.com/ for more information.
To read what they had to say about the mix-up go here.
So not to fear, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q are still here and will remain here. Now who wants some barbecue?
Note: I felt the need to write this after spending a great deal of my time meeting the kind folks in the NC and SC barbecue world and hated to see Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q attacked.
On another note, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q is sponsoring the Media Ryder Cup this weekend in order to raise money for the Durham and Wake county chapters of Communities in Schools (CIS). CIS is an organization that aims “to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.”
To find out more you can go to the website. Also from the website you can donate to the cause and help keep kids in school. Their goal is to raise $3000 and donating as a little as $10 moves them closer to achieving it.
Happy Barbecue Eating!