Get to Know Hickory Farms

hickory farms history

Hickory Farms in the beginning

Traditions and success have one thing in common: Even with humble origins, they can turn into something big. At Hickory Farms, we know this first hand because it’s our story!

Our founder, Richard Ransom, started it all when he began selling hand-cut cheese at county fairs in Ohio in 1951. Throughout the next decade, the operation expanded to include booths run by husband and wife teams, with another very important addition – our famous Summer Sausages.

The first Hickory Farms retail store opened outside of Toledo, Ohio, in 1959, and the next year saw another big step; the opening of the first franchise location in Chicago. These stores were the first of many and would become a familiar sight in malls and shopping centers across the country.

During the 1960s, we continued to expand our selection of gourmet food baskets, adding items like our Sweet Hot Mustard that would go on to be long-lived favorites. The following years brought even more food selections, from fruit baskets  and gourmet chocolate to spiral ham and gourmet gift baskets with nuts. To this day, we continue to expand our offerings with a new assortment of wine gift baskets, a perfect thank you for your host or hostess this holiday season.

Styles have changed quite a bit throughout the years (Just look at our groovy uniforms from the 1970s!), but the high quality of our gourmet sausages, cheeses and other specialty food products has remained the same. After more than half a century in business, we are committed to keeping our traditions alive, while also striving to improve.

Take, for instance, our 100 percent recyclable packaging that is environmentally friendly in every way, from our re-designed gift boxes to packing materials made from sustainably forested trees.

We’re also proud to make giving back a part of the Hickory Farms tradition, participating in programs such as Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign® to fight childhood hunger and Operation Gratitude’s military gifts for troops to say “Thanks” to our brave men and women in the armed forces.

Just like coming home for the holidays, people know what to expect from our gourmet food gifts – a delicious taste of tradition. To learn more about our history, visit Hickory Farms on Facebook!