NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Edwards Virginia Smokehouse, a family business that has spanned four generations, will be sold to Missouri-based Burgers’ Smokehouse, officials announced this week.
Burgers’ Smokehouse will pay Edwards Virginia Smokehouse for use of Edwards’ trademark and recipes, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Sam Edwards III, president of Edwards Virginia Smokehouse, said the agreement includes a noncompeting clause preventing Edwards from making country ham, bacon and sausage for four years.
Steven Burger, CEO of Burgers’ Smokehouse, said the deal announced Tuesday is expected to close on Aug. 31. He said Burgers’ offer was for an undisclosed amount.
Edwards ham products are considered a staple of holiday meals and fine dining, but a fire in January 2016 destroyed the company’s 50,000-square-foot building housing its smokehouses and cure rooms. An insurer offered only about a fourth of the cost to rebuild, Edwards said. That led to a lawsuit which has dragged on for five years and which Edwards expects to last another two.
After the fire, the Burgers were one of four country ham producers, along with two sausage companies, that helped continue making the Edwards product, Edwards said. The Burgers will continue to produce Edwards products using those recipes.