The business started in 1943, raising and selling turkeys on a frame smokehouse in a backyard. Three generations later, Bear Creek Smokehouse has grown to selling hams, chickens, pepper pork tenderloins, cheese, art, clothing, and more.
“I’m the matriarch of this business, and I’m an owner also along with my children. And we all work together here to make this go, and we’ve got it running right now like a fine tooth comb,” said Brenda Shoults, the matriarch of Bear Creek Smokehouse.
Brenda Shoults’s son, Robbie is now the owner, and he says working with his family every day is a blessing.
“I’m the third generation of the business. We’ve got kids working in the business so fourth generation. Tracy and I have grandkids that are generation five that on any given day you can catch maybe four generations in here with my mom, me, and some of my kids and grandkids,” said owner, Robbie Shoults.
He says the business has been running on the motto, “food, family, and faith.” In the smokehouse, there is a quote that says, “I work hard to live up to the expectations of the generations before me.” The quote is signed by Robbie Shoults’ son, Hunter.
Brenda Shoults says that the whole family is a part of the operation from promotion to selling the meat nationwide. She says her son is passionate, but it is her daughter-in-law, Robbie’s wife, Tracy, who keeps him calm.
“I mean we stick together and when there’s a problem we go to the table with it, and talk about it, and discuss it as a family and resolve it as a family,” said Tracy Shoults.
Robbie Shoults says the secret to a thriving business, four generations later, is “hard work, sweat, and a lot of praying.”
The family says this is only the beginning.
Robbie and Tracy Shoults are proud to be the new owners of a 30,000 square foot building in downtown Marshall. They say exciting things are coming and they cannot wait to take the business into decades to come.
Matriarch Brenda Shoults is happy to continue on the ride.
“This hill is just so big I’m afraid part of it is going to end up in my backyard because I just live down the hill. So, we’ll see, we’ll work it out. But we are growing and we’re not going to stop.”