Blake's All Natural Foods
The old farmhouse lived in until a dozen years ago now serves as Blake’s corporate offices. It’s just one reminder of the enduring legacy of Clara Blake, her son, Roy, and the values they brought to their work.
It must have been tough for a 25-acre farm in Concord, New Hampshire, to make a go of it during those lean years following the farm’s first season in 1929. But Clara Blake was made of tough stock. And tender, too, as it turned out.
After World War II, Clara’s son, Roy, made fresh-dressed turkeys the sole focus of the business and set a course for the future. Roy was a purist and a perfectionist. He won countless awards for raising the finest free-range, all-natural turkeys in the land and a Blake’s turkey became standard holiday fare for thousands of New England families.
In the early 1950s Roy’s son, Charlie, got his first taste of life as a turkey farmer. Farming was in his blood, so he couldn’t have gotten a better present.One day in the spring of 1970, Charlie found himself with some extra turkey meat in the farm’s kitchen and decided to experiment with his Grandma Clara’s recipe for turkey pot pie. He cut the vegetables by hand, made the gravy and crust from scratch, and baked a dozen pies in the oven and began selling turkey pot pies out of the back of the van. While his 5-year-old daughter, Amy, roller-skated around a nearby parking lot, Charlie sold one pie, then another, and another. Within 20 minutes he sold out. And he realized he was on to something.
Four decades later, Charlie and his wife, Sally, were distributing turkey and chicken pot pies throughout New England. They were still using Clara’s recipes, still cutting vegetables by hand, and still making gravy from scratch. The hand-pulled chicken and turkey were as tender as ever. Theirs was a thrifty, quintessential New England mom-and-pop business operating with a simple goal: Put healthy meals on the table for as many folks as possible.
The company has stayed true to those roots while continuing to branch out. In 2006, when Amy and Chris joined the business, their girls, Blake and Lucy, were just 3 years old, and the young parents were thinking a lot about the food they were putting on the table. They were learning about the benefits of organic food, knew there must have been a lot of young families out there like theirs, and saw an opportunity for Blake’s. They saw other opportunities in the heirloom recipe cards that Clara had handed down with the farm: hearty recipes for shepherd’s pie, macaroni and cheese, and macaroni and beef. With each new addition to the Blake’s line of products, we asked ourselves one question: If Clara were to come back today, would she approve of what we’re doing?
All these years later, Blake’s is still using the finest natural and organic ingredients. We’re still making all our meals from scratch in small batches. There’s simply no other way to make a Blake’s meal. We think Clara would approve.