Last Christmas, owners Ronny and Beth Drennan shipped cooked about 1,200 country hams and shipped them to customers across the country. Ronny said they received order from all 50 states as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. They typically don’t ship any overseas because of the difficulty of getting hams through customs. Most countries won’t allow them in, but hams are occasionally sent overseas to Americans serving in the military.
Each year, Broadbent’s tries to stay ahead by anticipating the orders and cooking enough hams ahead of time to meet them. They start preparing in September. This year, they expect to cook 1,500 hams or more. The cooker only holds 35 hams at a time, so it doesn’t allow much room for error. Although they increase the number of hams cooked every year to keep up with the growth in orders, it’s always difficult to know if they are ready for the onslaught that comes with the holiday season.
“You never really know if you’re prepared,” Ronny said.
Beth said that one of the reasons for the increasing orders is that the Broadbent’s name is becoming more recognized all the time. A surprising number of cooking and food-related newspaper and magazine articles from have mentioned the brand by name, she said. The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade sometimes sends them copies of articles that have appeared in various publications. Every time they receive a notice from these writers, no matter where they are, orders always seem to jump. The Internet also helps publicize the Broadbent’s name, since even the most obscure publication can have an impact and be accessible to anyone who is curious about the small company.
“The Web has just really made things global,” Beth said.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.