Our upcoming cover story in Independent Processor is a company I have wanted to visit for a long time. Unfortunately, I still haven’t visited them, because travel isn’t possible just quite yet. But I was at least able to have a nice conversation with Jonathan and Melissa Pace of Smokey Denmark Smoked Meats, based in Austin, Texas.

One of the things we discussed was how food is an essential part of many memory-making gatherings. Birthdays, weddings, holidays, even funerals all involve a meal. As meat industry professionals, you have a big part in the creation of those memories. People in my family still talk about the time that the family went to a different banquet hall for my Aunt Mary’s funeral and how the entrees weren’t as good as our usual family funeral luncheons. That was 20-something years ago.

With all the challenges we have faced in 2020, one thing that has taken on a restored prominence is the family meal. Home-cooked dinners are important again, primarily because we can’t eat out like we used to. That’s a change of pace for many families, as the art of cooking is not as wide-spread as it once was. Families need help, and companies in the meat industry have the chance to give provide that help. It could come in the way of recipes, meal kits, frozen dinners or tips on how to prepare pork, beef or poultry.

If you run a market and have direct contact with your customers, be sure to talk to them and see if they need any inspiration or have questions. Your website and social media channels are also great ways to start a conversation or offer cooking tips. That’s especially important if you don’t have day-to-day contact with your end-users. The inspiration you can provide today can lead to happy memories for your customers tomorrow.

Sam Gazdziak