Smithfield Foods is opening Taste of Smithfield in its home town of Smithfield, Va. The restaurant, which will share space with the company's Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe, will help showcase the company's packaged-meat products.

CEO C. Larry Pope said in a statement that he hopes the restaurant will attract more visitors to the historic southeastern Virginia town of about 8,100, as well as give the company a place to show off its products, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Taste of Smithfield will feature Smithfield pork products, including Smithfield Innovation Kitchen Specials and Windsor Castle Box Lunches. There is also a "grab-and-go" case with salads, sandwiches and desserts.

"We're very excited about our new venture because we think it will help attract more visitors to our historic town, along with giving us a showplace for our products," said Pope. "We've had a long and pleasant association with the town of Smithfield, dating back to when our company was founded in 1936, and we're delighted that our new building blends in so well with the many attractive neighboring stores along Main Street."

Pete Booker, vice president and general manager of the Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, will oversee this new joint venture combining Retail and Restaurant operations. Margaret Carroll has been named to manage Taste of Smithfield restaurant.

"Our Taste of Smithfield Restaurant is a rousing tasting of the pig, featuring quality food items for everybody, from meaty sandwiches to ribs to burgers, and we're also offering 'For the Little Piglets' selections for children," Booker said.

"We anticipate that we will be changing our menu often to reflect new and innovative creations from our chefs," Booker added. "We even have some menu items for our vegetarian friends."

Sources: Sacramento Bee, Smithfield Foods