One woman turns an old family tradition into a booming business, and it's one she hopes to pass down for years to come.
Dale Fuss moved away from her family's farm, but there was a tradition that her family did that she missed – smoking hams. So she asked her dad, Jason Fuss, to teach her the trade. She wanted to make sure that her family's smoked hams were enjoyed for generations to come!
“This tradition has been in this area for 300-plus years,” said Jason Fuss. “We hang the hams in here. They’re freshly salted so we’ll hang them in here to cure for a week or so before we start smoking.”
Dale went ahead and built a smokehouse, and her father made sure to pass on his knowledge of how to smoke a country ham.
“Number one, it was a family tradition and number two, nobody does it this way anymore. It’s a dying art. Nobody smokes ham like this anymore,” Dale said.
Old Family Tradition Becomes Booming Business For Dale Fuss
After learning the family tradition, Dale started her first year of business smoking hams.
“The first year, I bought six hams and I had two for me, two for him and the other two, I was going to give one to each of my sisters,” Dale said. “The next year, we went from six to 12 and then from 12 to 20 and now we have 210 hams hanging in our smokehouse! I never imagined it would get as big as it is now."
These old-fashioned country hams are loved by many, and Dale loves making them for people to enjoy.
“You have to love what you do, you have to love this. You have to love the art of smoking the hams, curing them. It’s a lot of work, so if you don’t love it, you wouldn’t do it,” Dale said.
And Dale is thankful for this passion turned business and how God has blessed the hard work that she has done.
“God has really blessed us with the business and the number of people that keep coming back. And it’s always by word of mouth because we do not advertise,” shared Dale.
This small family business will continue to grow this year with Dale shipping her country ham up and down the East Coast and even over to Hawaii!
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