Smithfield Foods Opens First Restaurant in Smithfield, Virginia
The small town of Smithfield, Va., can’t seem to get enough ham. Earlier today, pork producer Smithfield Foods cut the ribbon to their brand-new restaurant, Taste of Smithfield, officially launching the pork-centered establishment on Main Street.
Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global pork goods company, and it is now returning to its roots in Smithfield where it was founded back in 1936. "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 Smithfield president and CEO Larry Pope in a recent press release.
Smithfield has a long history of controversy and has been accused of mistreating employees, polluting towns, and engaging in unethical "factory farming." The launch of their new restaurant, however, will attempt help to change this image and build positive relationships within the community.
Taste of Smithfield is located at 217 Main Street in an 8,700-square-foot space that will now be shared with their retail store, The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe.
Taste of Smithfield serves up a variety of pork products from meaty sandwiches to burgers to ribs and also offers meat-free options for their vegetarian customers.
According to Pete Booker, vice president and general manager of Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, "We anticipate that we will be changing out menu often to reflect new and innovative creations from our chefs."