(Frank) On Around Kansas today we’re in the beautiful Flint Hills on a
beautiful day and we’re going to visit Grandma Hoerners Foods. Let’s go in.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.
(Frank) Today on Around Kansas we’re in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas and more specifically we’re at Grandma Hoerners Foods and with us, of course, are Regina and Duane McCoy the owners of Grandma Hoerners Foods. And I’ve got to ask right from the top, was there a Grandma Hoerner? (Duane) There was indeed. Mabel was her name and she born and raised outside of Manhattan, just below Tuttle Creek Dam. (Frank) OK, did she make applesauce? (Duane) They had a farm with an apple orchard and they did have some apple products that they had for the general area there. And did a lot of cooking of their own product, apple pies and of course the famous applesauce that became Big Slice today. (Frank) So, you grew up tasting this wonderful stuff. Then what inspired you to start making applesauce and the rest of the products that we’re going to talk about? (Duane) In my life, I’ve done many, many things, but I saw that there was a real opening in this area in the food business. There was nothing like it on the market. I grew up eating it, enjoyed it. My Mom made it for all of us kids. And so I went up to the market to look and see if there was anything like it. There wasn’t. It was all just one type. And it was a kind of a mushy, kind of a baby food textured applesauce and that’s what was out there. (Frank) So you made a batch on your stove and took it somewhere and said try this? (Duane) Just went to work, you know, slicing up some apples, making the recipe that my Mom had for us and bottled it in the kitchen and took it around to some local stores. And it was family, friends and the reaction was, “Hey, you’ve got something here.” (Frank) So now actually, you really kind of started out private labeling for people. (Duane) The original was our brand started, but it was very infant. It was starting out locally there in southern California. We took our brand, Grandma Hoerner brand, to some regional markets and it found a very respectable place in a few stores regionally. And that was the beginning. A private brand came on somewhat later. (Regina) With the big account. (Duane) But grew into some great accounts. (Regina) Tell them that. At Trader Joe’s. (Duane) The very first account that was of size was Trader Joe’s and they were and are a very valued customer of ours. But they saw in the product, saw the vision, had the belief in it. Took a risk I suppose you might say because it was taking it to another level to the consumer. They were used to the traditional style and they took a risk to take this new Big Slice concept to market. And the response was tremendous and it’s been there solidly now for like, 28 years. (Jim) So where does the name, Big Slice, where does that come from? Is it the way it was made? (Duane) Regina can address that one. (Regina) You know it’s such a fabulous product. I just fell in love with it when I met Duane. I’ve been along side him working, well married to him 22 years and been along side him 23 years working with Grandma Hoerners. And I…you know the traditional style applesauce with that more smooth consistency style and we wanted to differentiate ourselves. How could we do that? Our product is kettle-cooked apples really. It’s just like Grandma Hoerners authentic, heritage recipe. (Duane) Home style. (Regina) It’s what she made her family years and years ago, in the late 1800’s. So, it’s a product that we wanted to convey something that is unique and special. How do you do that? Well, the slices in our product, the perfectly delicious kettle cooked apple slices. They’re big and they’re slices, so let’s call it Big Slice. Duane always kind of had started with that, but he didn’t really make it a brand until later on just by five years. And we can tell you more about that. (Frank) OK, when we come back we’re going to talk about Grandma Hoerners is more than applesauce.
(Frank) Welcome back to Around Kansas, we’re at Grandma Hoerners. Now let me ask you when you took this to market, what helped you differentiate yourself from everybody else? (Duane) Well, that was the biggest challenge
to talk to a buyer at a chain of stores about applesauce, on the phone,
trying to get a meeting with this individual. You could hear them yawn
because that’s not a very exciting topic, right? So that was the first
challenge, try to get the foot in the door. Then you had to go into this
whole process of explaining why our product was so different than the rest
of the offerings out there. And that took a little doing. But then we would
start communicating, then they would give me a meeting and then you would finally have an audience. And once they tasted it, it was over with. They really loved it. The trick was to get in the door for me. (Regina) It
really was a process, you know. When you have a product that you feel is
unique and special and everything and yet it’s so unique and it’s a little
more expensive. So when you have a product that has the same name like
applesauce, as, you know everything on the market is applesauce and it’s
all very inexpensive. It’s all a dollar and yours is coming in at three
dollars, so we had to even overcome that obstacle. At the price point, it
is expensive to make. Or it’s more costly to make Grandma Hoerners Big
Slice because it is using Grade A apples. We can’t use just use any type of
apple. And so we’re needing to maintain those slices and those chunks and get that robust thick background sauce. So it is more expensive. And so I think that was something that when we went in to different clients and we said, “We have applesauce,” it bored them to tears. And plus it was more expensive. But over the years, we’ve kind of jumped back and we have overcome that and it’s just been a process of getting our brand out there. So it’s been a very exciting ride. (Frank) OK. And we will talk about the expansion of the product line when we come back.
(Frank) We are at Grandma Hoerners in the Flint Hills of Kansas, just off
of Interstate 70 and what we’re going to do now is we’re going to take a
look at where we went from that first jar of applesauce to a huge selection
of foods. And Regina is going to take us on a tour. (Regina) OK, well
hello, come on in and I’ll share with you five of our most special
collections here. Since the start of our founding flavor, which was our
collection of Big Slice applesauce that we now just call applesauce, I’m
going to take you in to the back here of our gift shop that’s located here
in Kansas, off of I-70. We have our collection of Big Slice. It’s offered
here in 10 flavors. It’s super delicious. It is all natural. The big chunks
and slices of delicious kettle cooked apples sweetened with fruit juice
concentrate, it’s non jam, no artificial ingredients, or flavors or colors
whatsoever. It’s super chunky and you’re going to love to have it on Greek
yogurt, or cottage cheese. I love to top it on oatmeal or a pop up waffle
if I’m in a hurry. We also have our heritage collection of super delicious
preserves. It’s our full traditional style preserves. We have our orange
marmalade, that’s one of our favorites. We even have a seedless raspberry
and a boysenberry. It’s got beautiful, new packaging with beautiful gold
lids. I think everyone’s going to love our new heritage recipe. Preserves.
Additional collection that we started off not too far ago. Most recent,
one of the additional lines that are super wonderful is our organic reduced
sugar preserves. It’s fabulous because not only are they organic, but they
are reduced sugar. There are 33% less sugars in our organic reduced sugar preserves than a traditional preserve out there. So you’re going to get that less sugar, plus organic. We offer it in seven incredible flavors
here. At Grandma Hoerners Gift Shop you’re going to notice and find here hundreds of products, but we also specialize in producing our own products here and you can find them in different jars that have the new packaging with the beautiful polka dots on them. We of course have Grandma Hoerners apple butter and a delicious pumpkin butter that is also all natural.
Another collection that we’re super proud of is our pie fillings, that are
gorgeous. We have loads of fruit. We have cherry and peach. We have our
super, delicious pecan pie filling, that’s great not only as a pie folks,
but you can pour it on ice cream or waffles. It’s just super delicious.
Remember all of our products are all natural. There’s no high fructose corn syrup. There’s no artificial ingredients. The last pie filling that I’m
just super excited about is our caramel maple pumpkin pie filling. You have to come by and get this. This is super delicious for the fall. I can go on and on about the wonderful products we have here at Grandma Hoerners Gift Shop here located in Kansas off of I-70. We have our red pepper jelly. We have salsas. We have some delicious relishes and simmering sauces. We’d love to have you come out here and show you all of our products and let you sample them as well as see our viewing window. You can see the products actually coming down the line as they’re produced. And you can meet one of my favorites in our store, Judy Peddicord. (Frank) When you walk through the door at Grandma Hoerners Gift Shop and Store, you meet Judy. Hi Judy.
(Judy) Hi. Welcome to Grandma Hoerners. (Frank) So, now can we sample and look around and all that? Tell us what we can do. (Judy) Of course you can. We have a lot of samples of our natural and organic products. That’s one of the fun things about coming to Grandma Hoerners is you want organic products, you get to taste what we make. (Frank) Oh boy. (Judy) We have this viewing window you get to watch the whole process right here and then in our store we have 30 to 40 different samples of our natural and organic products for you to taste. (Jim) Ok, well let’s go in and try some.
(B.J.) Well now that Regina has shared with you all of our great products here at Grandma Hoerners, Dalton McCoy, Grandma Hoerners great grandson and I are going to show you a little bit about how they are made. Today we are making organic blueberry reduced sugar preserves. We have organic evaporated cane juice and whole blueberries that we start the process with. (Dalton) Well, I can’t give you my inheritance recipe, but what we do is we put some blueberries and other ingredients in a kettle, we cook it to perfection, it goes to our filling machine. After it goes in the filling machine we pack it hot at 195 degrees, it gets a lid, then we have some labels and then it gets packed. And then here’s some fun facts from D.J. (D.J) It is a fun process, actually here at Grandma Hoerners, we use over 1.5 million pounds annually of organic evaporated cane sugar. We also use over 80,000 pounds of organic fruit each month. And on our Big Slice applesauce- apples, over 1.4 million pounds of fresh sliced apples every year. That’s a lot of apples. (Dalton) That’s a lot of apples.
(Frank) We’ve discovered there are a lot of things, good things to eat
here at Grandma Hoerners. Let’s talk about an expansion. You
have a brand new product and tell us about that and
where you can get it. (Regina) Yes, we are so excited. What a great
opportunity we were just recently given this year in January, we launched
nationwide in all Target stores. We’re in about 1,600+ stores with our
newest collection of the Big Slice offering. We are now in a new innovative
single portion, four and a half ounce pouch that is shelf stable folks.
It’s very easy to open. You just simply tear it open and when you open it,
it opens wide and it has this nice little gusset, wide gusset on the bottom
so that it sits just perfectly and of course it has the same, what we’re
famous for, is those big chunks and slices of kettle cooked apples. This
line is such an amazing collection. We have 16 flavors; at Target you can
get six of the flavors. They’re all non jamo except one. They’re all
natural, there’s no artificial flavors or ingredients whatsoever. You’re
going to get this fun, heritage recipe that we’re known for, our BIg Slice
now offered in this wonderful on-the-go pouch. What’s all so special about
it folks is not only is it just a delicious healthy snack, but it also has
a purpose behind it. Grandma Hoerners has always been a company, well we have a slogan that’s called, “We’re all about what matters.” We’re about healthy eating natural, organic products that we produce here. But we also
have a purpose, a mission, that we want to give back. We want to go global
with our Sparkle Outreach. On the back you will notice the Sparkle logo
that is beautiful. And from every pouch, there is a portion of the product
profit that goes to Sparkle. Sparkle will spread the light and love of God
across the globe to women that are in need. They’re in crisis situations.
There’s a lot of dark things going on out there and we feel we just always
had a heart that we wanted to reach women because I was a little girl that
was adopted and I feel like my adopted parents kept the sparkle in me and I want to spread that sparkle across the globe with our company. So, this is
the whole start of that beautiful giving back, is our new collection of our
pouches and I think that they are going to be a great on-the-go snack. In
fact, at the recent Natural Product Expo West Show in Anaheim, California, we were so fortunate to be noticed that we are on the list to be “What’s Next.” This is what’s next in the future- is our Big Slice Pouches. So, we’re super excited. Find them at Super Target or all Target locations.
(Frank) Well today this has been a fun and delicious trip to Grandma
Hoerners just off the Interstate in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas.
And we want to thank the McCoy’s and everybody we talked to here today for letting us enjoy Grandma Hoerners kettle cooked apples, not applesauce, kettle cooked apples. If you haven’t tried them, you need to do it because they are absolutely delicious. Come try some. (Dalton) There you go. Thanks for coming out. (Frank) Thank you.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.