SMITHFIELD, Va.—There has never been a shortage of pork products in the town of Smithfield, Va., which most notably is synonymous with Virginia hams. Still, a new feature has joined the merchants on Main Street, as Smithfield Foods presents a new dining destination-- Taste of Smithfield.
Taste of Smithfield officially opens on July 10 and 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 C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and chief executive officer. Smithfield Foods has long been associated with the town, dating back to the company’s founding in 1936.
The restaurant shares its new two-story, 8,700-square-foot building at 217 Main St. with Smithfield's retail store, The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe. Pete Booker, vice president and general manager of the Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, will oversee the new venture, which will combine retail and restaurant operations.
"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,” Booker said. There also are selections for children, playfully labeled 'For the Little Piglets'.
Booker expects the menu to change frequently to reflect the chefs’ creations. “We even have some menu items for our vegetarian friends," he added.
The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe’s expanded space will allow a larger selection of products. While Smithfield’s specialty-branded pork products will take center stage, it will include other gourmet specialty food brands such as Stonewall Kitchen, Rothschild Farms, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and The Peanut Shop of Smithfield Gourmet Virginia Peanuts and Nuts.
A $13-billion global food company, Smithfield is the world’s largest pork producer and processor. Its other pork brands include Armour, Farmland, Eckrich and John Morrell.