How Bass Farms Inc. Uses a Family Recipe to Create Perfectly Seasoned Sausage
At Bass Farms Inc. in Spring Hope, Kenneth Edwards and his team have a passion for creating flavorful whole-hog sausage that rivals any competition.
“Our sausage is fresh,” says Edwards, president of Bass Farms Inc. “We still deliver daily, like the milkman and bread fellow from days gone by, and we take our pork products off the shelf after 20 or so days – not 180 days like other brands. We still make and blend our sausage in 100-pound batches as we’ve done from the beginning.”
Bass Farm’s Humble Beginnings
Bass Farm Sausage got its start in the 1950s, when founder Ralph Bass was still a tobacco farmer. He credited his background in tobacco farming for helping him develop good habits, such as being patient, keeping a watchful eye on growth and choosing only the best products to sell.
When Ralph’s mother Florence gave him her sausage recipe in 1956, the two realized her gift for cooking and his mind for quality were a match made in hog heaven – and Bass Farm Sausage was born.
“By the 1960s, word was out all over Eastern North Carolina that delicious whole-hog sausage was being made right here in Spring Hope,” Edwards says. “Demand grew faster than weeds, but Ralph Bass kept making only 100-pound batches and insisted on tasting every one.
They didn’t have access to chemicals, so he stuck with only all-natural, high-quality ingredients. He was creating the standards for Bass Farm that still exist today.”
Ralph eventually passed the business down to his son, John Bass, who followed in his father’s footsteps, ensuring quality and consistency were behind every batch of Bass Farm Sausage, which sources its meat from North Carolina hog farmers.
When John Bass passed away in 2017, Edwards took on the role of company president, having worked at Bass Farms for more than 50 years.
“We haven’t changed a thing since Grandma Florence gave us the recipe over 60 years ago,” Edwards says. “That means using the whole hog to make our sausage and delivering it personally to every store. We still manufacture our product from start to finish, from livestock to the shelf, the farm to the fork.”
Small Batches, High Quality
Making sausage in 100-pound batches allows Bass Farms to ensure the seasonings and spices are blended perfectly. The products are then loaded and delivered to customers the next day.
“No cases head to freezers here – they’re delivered on our trucks to individual stores so our customers are purchasing the freshest, most authentic pork products around,” Edwards says. “We guarantee it.”
One advantage that sets Bass Farm Sausage apart is that it does not contain sugar like other brands. It comes in one-pound mild or hot varieties and can be purchased in local retail grocery stores throughout eastern North Carolina as well as Raleigh and Fayetteville. The company also makes sausage links, patties, dry sausage, souse and C-Loaf – a Southern tradition enjoyed with vinegar and hot sauce.
Edwards says North Carolina has been the perfect place to do business because it’s the birthplace of the “best sausage in the world.”
“We’re from the same communities as many of our customers. North Carolina is our home,” he says. “All our products are made right here and always have been.”
Like Edwards, many of the employees at Bass Farms Inc. have been working there for decades.
“It’s a family environment. Everyone here takes pride in making the finest pork products available,” he says. “It’s a great thing to see the commitment and dedication each person has. You get pride in knowing you are continuing the Bass Family tradition, and it’s the absolute best.”
In fact, that’s Bass Farms’ motto – “You’ve tried the rest … Now eat the best!”
“We believe it,” Edwards says. “And it’s on each and every product we make.”
– Jessica Mozo