Paul Kelly’s sales mission to New York has left him in confident mood, convinced there is a premium market for the KellyBronze turkey at Thanksgiving festivities in the United States.
“I had a great trip and was well received,” said Paul on his return to the family farm near Danbury, Essex, UK. “We are supplying Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea market and Fleishers Craft Butchery who have five outlets in New York and surrounding areas.
“They had a sample last Thanksgiving and loved our turkey and presentation. They were impressed that the KellyBronze was so dramatically different to what they’re used to selling - and even with the huge price differential they’re going to stock it this year. And the butcher we have in Washington last year sold 30 percent of his turkeys as KellyBronze.”
The irony is that although UK traditional turkeys are ‘New York dressed’ – hung for two or three weeks before processing for a more mature flavor – hardly anyone in the US understands that term. “The dry plucking and hanging process is totally alien to them, which is great!” said Paul Kelly.
“It’s great fun as it takes me back 30 years to when the KellyBronze started in UK and we were pushing water uphill at times. The difference starting in US now is that we’ve far more resources and we know what to do as all the pitfalls, and the issues around free range farming and dry processing have been resolved in the UK over these 30 years.
“We can hit the ground running in the US and can afford the investment needed. I fully appreciate we’ve a long way to go and I’m well aware that USA has been a graveyard for many UK companies. But I am quietly very confident. I love the challenge!”
The KellyBronze turkeys for Thanksgiving 2016 have now hatched and are being reared at Heritage Glen Farm, Crozet, in Virginia, home of Judd and Cari Culver. To celebrate this year’s hatch they are hosting a ‘Bred to be wild’ party at the farm on Saturday July 30th to see the turkeys’ wild in the woods. The party runs from 4 until 8 pm, with music, beer and, of course, hot roast KellyBronze rolls.
“Judd and Cari, are both alumni of Virginia Tech, so as Hokies turkey farming must come naturally!’ added Paul Kelly, who has a reputation in the UK as a Maverick turkey farmer, and holds two Guinness world records for plucking and carving a turkey. He will be over from England to demonstrate his skills in turkey carving.