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Every Smokehouse Has a Story

Howdy, 

Welcome to our first blog post! We are officially firing up the grill on this project and are so excited to connect with you in a new way. Maybe you stumbled on this blog or maybe you are a Kiolbassa superfan, either way, we are glad you are here! 

What is cookin’ in The Smokehouse? 

We want this blog to be a place where we answer some of your questions about our company, products or anything else you are curious about. Want to be in the know about new products we have coming soon? Have you tried cooking our bacon in the oven? We have some pretty good tips for that.  

We also want to introduce you to some instrumental people that are involved with Kiolbassa Smoked Meats. Do you love our Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper recipe? We want to invite the recipe creator and photographer to talk about their favorite grilling tips and how they cook with our extra thick-cut bacon. Ever wondered what it’s like to work at Kiolbassa? We want our team to join in and talk about what they do here at Kiolbassa and share a little bit about themselves. From our safety department to our team in Research & Development that creates our new products, we want to share our team with you! 

And who knows, we might even invite YOU to be a guest on The Smokehouse!  

We hope you stay awhile… 

Thank you for joining us on this new journey. We hope you see you around from time to time at The Smokehouse. While we will be sharing a lot of information on our end, we want to get to know you! Leave a comment below with your name, where you are from, and maybe some ideas of what you’d like to see here. 

Showin’ some love to our food bank partners

Hi there,

Welcome back to our second post on this blog! For March, we wanted to show a little ‘love’ to our food bank partners. Not only are food banks vital to those facing food insecurity, but the pandemic along with inflation has caused many families to face hunger like never before. If you did not know, we launched our Links of Love program in 2020 in response to the pandemic as food insecurity began to rise. Working closely with our friends at Feeding America, we created a high protein, all-pork product that we would donate solely to food banks and disaster relief efforts. According to the Feeding America website, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children experience food insecurity in the United States. That means 1 in 8 people are facing hunger.

 We believe the work of our local food banks is vital to helping resolve food insecurity which is why we commit to donating 10,000 pounds of smoked sausage each month through our Links of Love program to support their efforts to end hunger across the country.

Did you know protein can be a luxury for food banks?

When we kicked off our program, it was important for us to create a high-quality product to donate that was similar to our other lines of smoked meat products. What we did not realize was just how scarce protein can be for food banks. We donated to the Arkansas Food Bank in February and had the opportunity to meet with Eric Shelby, chief operations officer, about struggles their organization is facing. 

“One of the things that food banks have been experiencing since the start of the pandemic is the lack of donated proteins to get into our food banks,” said Shelby. 

According to a 2014 study by Feeding America, 78% of food bank recipients purchase inexpensive, unhealthy food due to their limited resources. Food banks like the one in Little Rock, Arkansas are just one in a few hundred that strive to provide healthy options to those in need. We are excited to support their mission by helping provide a quality protein source for communities that desperately need it.

How can YOU make a difference?

As a Kiolbassa Smoked Meats fan, you already support our mission of enriching lives. Whether you purchase our product on a regular basis, share our Facebook posts or tell a friend about our bacon and chorizo, your support helps fund our program. Thank you for your support!

Kiolbassa’s Secret Ingredient

Hello there,

Glad to have you back!

This week we are diving into some of the structure of Kiolbassa Smoked Meats to show what sets us a apart as a company. 

Did you know one of Kiolbassa’s most important ingredients does not exist in the product? For several years now, a secret ingredient added to the recipe is Kiolbassa Smoked Meats’ company culture. This ingredient provides the necessary skills each team member needs to become accomplished in their own workplace and supports the success of the company. This ingredient is the Great Game of Business (GGOB).

So, what exactly is The Great Game of Business?

The Great Game of Business is a business methodology demonstrated in a book by Jack Stack, that turns running a business into a game using Open Book Management. This philosophy is “the more people know about the company, the better the company will perform.”

This practice is about “communicating with people via the numbers.” Each department at Kiolbassa plays a part and has a stake in winning the game – if the team members see how they can affect the final score, everyone wins!

How do we play the game?

  • Mini Games (a laser focus on a smaller goal that, if achieved, adds up to long term success) are a fun way to take an opportunity and turn coming up with a solution into a game. There is a theme for the game, a score board, regular reviews to monitor progress and help the team stay on track, and prizes to keep everyone engaged.
  • Huddles – Weekly departmental and company-wide check-ins to review the numbers (are we winning or losing?) and share Teaching Points (short, educational presentations to help the team continually learn more about business). 
  • Ownership – By assigning responsibilities to the lines on the Income Statement to a team member in a department that has the greatest stake in that line, we begin to “think and act like owners” not just employees. It allows team members to see how their job does affect the entire company, no matter whether they are in maintenance or sales, HR or production – we ALL contribute to the critical number.

When a company “plays” the Great Game of Business, all the employees know exactly what they contribute, what they cost the company, and how they depend on one another to be successful. That’s because they are all working from the same scorecard and are aligned on a singular goal for the company. Adopting this Values-Based Leadership and identifying our Purpose and Family Values to guide our daily work has empowered our team with financial literacy and is a great example of how putting people first drives growth and success. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever worked for a company that practiced Open Book Management? Let us know in the comments below!

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Check out our slow-crafted Kiolbassa Smoked Meats gift packs and our original Kiolbasssa merchandise for any meat lover!