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North Country Smokehouse Focused on West Coast Expansion

April 15, 2021 GMT
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North Country Smokehouse Logo (PRNewsfoto/North Country Smokehouse)
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North Country Smokehouse Logo (PRNewsfoto/North Country Smokehouse)

CLAREMONT, N.H., April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- North Country Smokehouse, a third-generation, family-owned business, and producer of small-batch artisanal smoked meats, announces West Coast expansion. The new footprint includes partnerships with well-known distributors like KeHe, Tony’s Fine Foods, and Newport Meats, as well as California-based retailers Gelson’s Market and Bristol Farms.

“Expanding our footprint to the West Coast was a natural next step for us.” said Aaron Corbett, CEO. “Consumers are looking for humanely raised and organic meats and they want to buy from brands that value social responsibility. The West Coast leads the charge when it comes to actively seeking out better-for-you foods. Not only do they eat humanely raised and organic meat more frequently, but they also search out transparent brands they know they can trust.”

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North Country Smokehouse has been proudly displayed on white linen restaurant menus nationwide for more than 3 decades. “We entered into the retail space about five years ago,” says Corbett. “Prior to that, our small-batch, smoked meats were only available through discerning distributors in Eastern regions. Many West Coast chefs would source our products and bring them in as a specialty item.”

North Country Smokehouse’s retail products display a bold claim that reads ‘Some Things Simply Can’t Be Compromised’. “Our products are one-of-a-kind,” says Corbett. “We focus on patience and persistence, taking our time to handcraft every item. We do not rush for the sake of efficiency or yield like others do. We credit the low & slow smoking process with our flavor and high-quality. It’s part of the recipe.”

The move towards the West Coast was set into motion four years ago, when Mike Kelly, Vice President of Business Development joined the team with the goal of expanding certified humane and organic bacon, sausage, deli meat, and ham into retail grocers. Mike’s more than 30 years of CPG experience plays a large part in North Country’s expansion. As part of the overarching strategy, he brought new hire, Kimberly Novkov, aboard as the West Coast Regional Sales Manager. Kimberly is an L.A. native and prior to her new role at the smokehouse, she worked for a competing smoked meat brand in the same geography. “We’re excited to have Kimberly with us. Not only does she understand the market, but she also has existing relationships with many of the buyers and understands the trends towards humanely raised and organic meats. While many brands remain focused on commodity products, the move towards sustainably sourced meat cannot be denied. Kimberly is getting our products in front of customers who want better-for-you foods but are not willing to sacrifice flavor.”

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The demand for certified humane and organic meats is growing rapidly and Western states are driving the demand. “North Country Smokehouse offers a unique value because of our relationship to the source,” says Kelly. “We’re a subsidiary of duBreton, a family-owned, agri-food company who leads North America in the supply of certified humane and organic pork. The vertically integrated system gives us more control of the farm to fork supply chain, so we can deliver premium products consistently and more cost effectively. We source our pork from our very own farm-network – never off the market. It’s an advantage for our customers because they can depend on us for consistent, quality products and they know we can meet their demand.”

duBreton has more than 400 family-farms in their network, all committed to certified humane and organic farming. “Their farms are audited year-round to ensure the animals are being raised with respect and have the ability to engage in natural behaviors,” says Kelly. “They exceed federal regulations that define humanely raised and organic meat. They look at the standards, meet them, and then surpass them. It’s about doing the right thing.” duBreton places respect for the animal above all else, banning the use of electric prods and commonly used practices like tail-trimming.

Today, North Country Smokehouse can be found in most upscale retailers along the East Coast like Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Market Basket, Big Y, Target, and more than 300 Whole Foods Market locations. In addition, their products can be found on the shelves of more than 500 independent retailers down the Eastern Coast. West Coast consumers can find their products in Gelson’s Market and Bristol Farm’s locations throughout California. They also have an ecommerce website that carries specialty products, gift baskets and offers a bacon of the month club membership.

About North Country Smokehouse

As one of America’s few remaining, family-owned smokehouses, North Country’s mission is to hand craft premium, artisanal smoked meats through culinary excellence, exceptional animal care standards, and respect for the land. Located in the heart of New England, their authentic charcuterie features only the best hand-selected, natural ingredients, and small batch smoking process over embers of local hardwoods.

Available in traditional, all-natural certified humane, and organic varieties, the NCS product line features smoked bacon, ham, sausages, and deli meats, as well as unique offerings like smoked chicken, and Cajun Pork Tasso. Their recipes are crafted using old world, European techniques, resulting in the distinct flavor they are well-known for today.

Recognized for an innovative approach to dining, North Country Smokehouse partners with respected chefs nationwide, to develop signature recipes that enhance menus with their on-trend approach to flavor. Voted America’s Best Bacon by Men’s Journal, New England’s Best Meat by Yankee Magazine, and The Best Bacon in America by Food & Wine, North Country has been noted for balancing taste with time honored tradition and modern food trends.

Available through upscale retailers, discerning distributors, and with custom crafted recipes in noted restaurants, hotels and resorts across the country, North Country has provided customers with better choices at the table for more than 100 years.

Visit ncsmokehouse.com for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT
Alicia Baker
North Country Smokehouse; Brand Manager
603.542.8323 ext. 214
alicia@ncsmokehouse.com

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SOURCE North Country Smokehouse