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Tender Belly, The Beginning

Posted July 01, 2015

It all started in the summer of 2010 with a perfected bacon recipe and an entrepreneurial spirit. Shannon and Erik Duffy, brothers born and raised in Iowa, decided to take their secret bacon recipe and put it on the market. Thus, Tender Belly was born. They didn’t want to supply just any pork; they became part of the slow meat movement. Frankly, pigs that are raised with patience, commitment and tender loving care create a better product, and it’s something the Duffy brothers knew considering their own grandfather raised healthy pigs in small town Iowa. There’s no need to pump pigs with antibiotics and growth hormones when they are free to roam, eat a natural vegetarian diet and exercise their right to live stress-free. This philosophy has become part of the Tender Belly brand. Where they work with small farmers who humanely raise heritage pigs, not only reviving the local farmer who at one time was overshadowed by industrialization, but also helping the environment. Everyone Wants a Taste of Tender Belly  Initially only Arizona restaurants got a taste of Tender Belly’s all natural bacon. At the time Erik, a trained chef, was living and working in Arizona utilizing his connections, and Shannon set up shop in Denver. The brothers quickly realized that Tender Belly had potential beyond just Arizona and bacon, chefs everywhere were in demand for local pork products since there was a shift to farm-to-table preference. The whole pig, nose to tail, became a valuable commodity and they started outsourcing Berkshire hogs from family farmers in Iowa, Arizona and Colorado. Tender Belly is now one of the best pork purveyors in the country, supplying a full-line of products to restaurants, retailers and at-home chefs. History in the Making This certainly isn’t the whole Tender Belly story. The company is growing and expanding (the Tender Belly crew recently moved to a bigger warehouse), proving high-end, sustainable products that people want. The Duffy brothers continue to innovate their brand by teaming up with other companies and most recently announced that they will be adding to their online store and retail line. In addition to their franks, ribs and bacon, they will be adding more sausages, cut pork chops and grilling items. The new item they are most excited about is there hearty, old school jerky. Flavored with the secret recipes you have grown to love, tender to align with the brand name and all around mouthwatering. With all of this history in the making it couldn’t be done without the support of the restaurants, retailers and pork lovers. The fans inspire Tender Belly to continue to grow and supply local farmers with booming business, and foodies with high-quality products. Our mission is humble, to share our love for good, pure food and making the simple things extraordinary. Thank you for believing in the same mission.