At this time the business was operated by Fred, Jr., Bob and Allen. The media campaign had a big impact. “John Lee [a long-time employee] said it was just like a big family working there, you know. “My all time favorite memory was my first Christmas Dinner. The kids, Betty, Fred, Jr., Bob, Allen, and Betty’s husband, Tom, all worked in the business in various roles. In the 1990’s the plant was greatly modernized and expanded in Simpsonville. When I think of the history of this company I think the one word that best sums it up is “family.” The Purnell family has owned and operated Purnell Sausage Company going on three generations now. Such advertising made the Purnell name almost synonymous with the Wildcats and their huge fan following. “There were times when Fred would say he didn’t know how we would make it. He had a cow horn on the car. © 2011 F.B. List, © 2011 F.B. I think he was right, also it is still pretty much that way.” They aren’t just employees or associates or whatever jargon you want to use. 12 - 16 OZ (1 LB) Rolls of Smokehouse Sausage. The ’80’s and 90’s saw continued expansion of sales territory. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Believe me, it had an impact on his kids’ lives too. He said, ‘Can you drive a truck?’ ‘ I have a pickup.’ I answered. Mama and me kept telling Daddy to hush, but the cop gave him the ticket anyway.” Purnell Sausage, Inc. Simpsonville, KYPrivacy Policy | Return Shipping. Each brother had respective roles: Bob in Facilities and Maintenance, Fred in Plant Operations and Allen in Sales and Marketing. Unsliced. People began associating Allen’s country accent with the sausage and his tag line at the end of each ad: “Buy a pound or two ’cause it’s gooo-od!”. 3 Purnell's Old Folks® Old Fashioned Style Bologna Rolls. And the products still carry with them the family pride that my grandfather had in that first lunchbox by adhering to the best quality ingredients. The Squirrel jumped up and grabbed the overhead rail in an effort to ‘skin the cat.’ Well, guess what? ~Charles Coulter (Sales Manager). Mrs. Anna Belle Smith was there then. ~Clara Purnell. “One morning, Danny Joe [sales representative] told a salesman to ‘come watch the Squirrel perform.’ [Danny Joe’s nickname is ‘Squirrel’.] 12 - 12 OZ Packages of Mild Sliced Souse. It was at Floral Hall in Shelbyville. Purnell Sausage comes from all the good cuts and seasoned just right, that’s why. Old Folks was accustomed to his family’s homemade country sausage and found there was none available in the city. “Old Folks” purchased land in the tiny community of 250 people and constructed a new plant with its own water and sewage systems. In many ways the people that work in the plant became the Purnells’ second family. Even so, the Company has carried on a strict adherence to selling quality products and longstanding commitment to service. Grid  There are approximately 300 employees. 110 Calories. I told him that we can’t quit now-we’ve got too many mouths to feed!” He started making his own pork sausage in the fall of 1932, using only the choicest cuts. The business was more or less a hobby until Old Folks retired from the L&N as a result of disability. He was always a serious person who as a child earned the nickname, “Old Folks” because of his interest in listening to older people tell stories. He died in 1974. Frank Murphy who now lives in Florida gave me the chance to sell sausage in their stores, maybe 50 of them. The salesman recommended that he move to Louisville because there weren’t any other sausage companies there, at least country sausage makers. The term “whole hog” actually refers to using only … Includes all the good cuts and seasoned just right. ‘I know you…I saw you on TV.’ I said. 5 Fat Grams. I was on fire. It was his last act as far as we know.” He had developed emphysema which had become more debilitating. Daddy, Mama and I loaded up the car and took product to him that night. She said Allen Purnell was down the hall and was in, so I went in. ‘Well, you can drive one of our’s.’ So on the next day I went to Ohio with Charlie Coulter. What I liked so much was that the entire Purnell family and children were there. Purnell Sausage, Inc. Simpsonville, KYPrivacy Policy | Return Shipping. “My oldest memory was the day I walked into the ‘old office’ twenty six years ago. 3 Purnell's Old Folks® Old Fashioned Style Bologna Rolls. The focus of the advertising was on University of Kentucky basketball games. ~Clara Purnell. On the way back around 2 a.m. on Dixie Highway between Ft. Knox and Valley Station a policeman pulled Daddy over for speeding. The move was really brave on their part. They began advertising on television during this period of time. Later he migrated from the family’s Middle Tennessee farm to Nashville where he worked in a variety of occupations. “Back in the 1950’s we had a guy down at Scottsville, Kentucky who was selling sausage and other products and he called in late one afternoon wanting more sausage to sell the next day. ~Allen Purnell, “The first chain of stores that I sold was the old Steiden stores of the Louisville area. Purnell Sausage comes from the whole hog. What makes it so gooo-od? Includes all the good cuts and seasoned just right. Unsliced. “We knew we wanted to be in the country. But they worked together as a family. So I made the first TV commercial. Needing to earn more than his pension to support his family of 4 children, they embarked on creating a business out of making and selling country sausage. “I had a customer in Nelson County, Kentucky in the late ’50’s or early ’60’s that sold our bologna and sausage at the time Purnells advertised on radio when the Kentucky ballgames were being played. I can remember talking with my grandmother, Clara, about what compelled them to move to yet another place not knowing anyone with my grandfather approaching his 60’s. I can still remember going with him to open gates. He eventually worked for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company as a steam engine mechanic. He laughed. Old Folks was talking with a sales representative from Louisville, Kentucky at one point. At the time Nashville was somewhat of the center of the nascent country sausage industry and the Purnells found themselves competing with several more established sausage makers. Brother Bob said he wanted equal time so he made a TV commercial. The biggest contributor to the success of the Company has been its loyal, dedicated and hardworking people many of whom grew up in the rural areas surrounding Louisville. No MSG Added! By this point of time the Company was becoming well entrenched in the Louisville market. It was the first significant chain of stores to stock and sell Purnell’s Old Folks Sausage.” ~Allen Purnell. Sales figures have continued to grow through the ’90’s. The lady would say when she started to give an order, ‘bring me 3 or 4 legs of bologna today.’ Then their customers told them that when they heard a Purnell’s ad, they had to go to the kitchen and cook some sausage because it made them hungry.” The family lived in Louisville for about five years before deciding to settle in the rural community of Simpsonville about 25 miles east of Louisville around 1956. He spent his last days driving his old cadillac on his 500 acre farm that was adjacent to Simpsonville. 6 - 38 OZ (24 Patties) Boxes of Smokehouse Sausage Patties. What makes Purnell's Old Folks Sausage so gooo-od? It’s hard to say you make country sausage in the city. The sales territory now encompasses about half of the states in the U.S. and also Mexico. Old Folks was accustomed to his family’s homemade country sausage and found there was none available in the city. Product innovations and product quality and service have enabled Purnells’ products to be top-sellers in places far from Simpsonville such as Iowa and Texas. 623 were here. By this time the products were sold in Kentucky and the surrounding states of Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee. I told him I liked it. He ground the sausage with a blend of salt, pepper and his special seasonings. They all treated me and the rest of the Employees as if we were a part of this Company.” No MSG. 12 - 12 OZ Packages of Old Fashioned Cooked Bratwurst. We invite you to read more about how the Company got started, how it grew and some memories offered by long-time employees and family members. Often, members from the same family worked in the business.