Kirk Halpern, founder of Halperns’ Steak & Seafood Co., announces the conclusion of his tenure with the company. Kirk, his partners and founding employees started the company in 2005, shortly after he resigned as President of Buckhead Beef Co.
Halperns’, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., has been a fast-growth company, supplying meat and seafood to hotels and restaurants in the Eastern United States and the Caribbean. Not only has sales growth been dramatic since its start, but the company also has received numerous accolades. In 2008, the company was second on the list of Atlanta’s 50 fastest-growing private companies with the Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetter Award. It was named the 2010 Processor of the Year by The National Provisioner magazine. Halperns’ was purchased by Gordon Foodservice of Grand Rapids, Mich., in January 2015.
In addition to overall sales, Kirk Halpern has been passionate about growing niche farmer-driven programs, centered on stewardship of the land, animal welfare and sustaining the family tradition.
“This has been a great way to give back to the farming community,” Halpern said.
On one such project, Southeast Family Farms™, Halpern worked with farmer and processor Adam Cox.
“When Mr. Halpern first came to see me six years ago, we harvested five hogs to his specifications,” Cox said. “He and his team have built a program where we have over 50 families raising on pasture at any given time 450 Angus cattle and 1,430 Berkshire hogs, consuming over seven million pounds of locally grown corn.”
Halpern has also taken underutilized meat cuts and having them specially fabricated by upstream partner suppliers, thereby bringing a lower-cost meat item to chef customers.
“This way, we create a greater return for the growers and producers and at the same time facilitate our customer partners to have cool items to menu at lower costs to their dining public,” he explained.
Some of the items Halpern created or collaborated on include: Lamb Bellies, Charleston Lamb Chops™, Lamb and Venison Osso Bucco, Venison Sweetbreads and St. Louis Ribs. When asked what was the most out-of-the-box item he created, Halpern responded, “Rabbit Wings™.”
Halpern resides in Atlanta. He received his Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University and Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law. He is on the Executive Board of the industry-leading North American Meat Institute and is a very active Board of Director of Goodwill of North Georgia.