SIMPSONVILLE, KENTUCKY – There were once dozens of regional sausage brands. One standout among the independents still remaining is the Old Folks brand, founded in 1944.
Old Folks is actually the nickname for founder F. B. Purnell. Their archived website has a history of the brand:
Old Folks was accustomed to his family’s homemade country sausage and found there was none available in the city. He started making his own pork sausage in the fall of 1932, using only the choicest cuts. The term “whole hog” actually refers to using only the choice cuts like the hams, loins, and shoulders. He ground the sausage with a blend of salt, pepper and his special seasonings.F. B. Purnell Archived Website
The company was founded in Nashville; in its early days there were a handful of local brands. The company grew by advertising, and its familiar “It’s GOOO-OD” slogan is sort of Kentucky slang. Their packing facility came to be in rural Kentucky after a few moves. As packers like Smithfield have become generic, and are owned by Chinese interests, the Old Folks of the world win.
Keeping priorities in order is what made it survive. A quote tells why:
“We knew we wanted to be in the country. It’s hard to say you make country sausage in the city. I prayed and looked to the Bible for guidance.”Clara Purnell
Find Old Folks brand at national retailers. Its success is evidence that smaller, regional brands can succeed against national brands if they simply focus on their core customers, deliver consistently, and remain steadfast in their marketing. Find out more at their website itsgooo-od.com.
I’m in Iowa where “Old Folks” is a popular brand but isn’t like some of the bigger brands that may be cheaper but are just fat with specks of meat …. I’m talking to you Farmland ;-).
It’s got a great taste, several varieties including Italian, and isn’t the highest priced stuff in the display.
Unfortunately nowadays with these ungawdly meat prices I’m buying whole loins (still under $2.50 everywhere or under $2 at Walmart) trimming the fat and the “marbled” parts and making my own.
It’s still leaner than Farmland’s and sometimes it tastes pretty good but never terrible (recipes and/or following them is for amatures).