Nationwide Launch, July 16, 2012
Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna
6552 State Route 515
Dundee, OH 44624
A Century of Great Taste - The History
In 1912, Michael Troyer purchased a meat market in Trail, Ohio. Michael grew the bologna business and just 12 years later sold it to his son, Lloyd Troyer in 1924.
Lloyd ran both the meat market and the factory that created Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna expanded to also operate a grocery with the meat market.
On February 2, 1934, a fire destroyed the business. Determined to continue, the business was rebuilt and thrived, much to the delight of the community.
Operating a meat operation was a tricky business before the invention of cost-effective true refrigeration. To allow meat to be stored and made year-round, a dam was installed next to the slaughter house. Using that cool water, a team of men would watch and wait patiently for cold weather. They would then assemble friends and neighbors to carefully cut blocks of ice from the dammed water.
Each block was 24 inches square and was sawed slowly and carefully. Before being brought into the ice house that literally had a floor of ice itself, the first layer was covered with a very thick layer of sawdust. It was used as insulation. The building was then slowly filled with layer after layer of freshly cut ice. In between each layer of ice yet another layer of sawdust was spread. This method allowed Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna to have enough ice on hand to provide refrigeration needed to last through the entire summer.
Lloyd's children worked diligently with the family business as it prospered. Richard, Robert, and Virgil worked in the plant making the product. Sterling delivered bologna on the truck. Merlin and Oma worked in the retail store. It is that kind of ingenuity and commitment to quality that has brought Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna to mark their 100th year in business. It is now run by the fourth generation of Troyers who have the same work ethic and drive that their forefathers and mothers did.
Brothers Ken, Kevin, and Darrin handle the day-to-day operations with pride in their product, their company and a commitment to the community. When asked about what it is like working with your siblings, Ken was quick to point out that each has their own area of expertise. "We don't often have to deal with the same issues," he said. Kevin quickly agreed and added, "working together is what you do in any kind of business."
Just five years ago, the company was still doing the packaging process by hand. They were also smoking their meats manually as opposed to the use of the new automated smokehouses that allow them to create batch after batch of perfection.
In 2007 they purchased a machine that brought in a bit of automation to the process as it not only formed the rings of bologna but also put clips on both ends of the ring and tied a string in the middle.
Production normally rises during the holiday months as demand rises due to holiday gifts and packages. The factory produces approximately 25,000 pounds of Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna each and every week. That averages out to 5,000 pounds per day.
Changes to several pieces of equipment, including the smokehouses and the packaging process that were implemented earlier this year have paved the way for Federal inspection so that Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna can be shipped all over the United States.
While many facets of the business have changed over the years, one thing hasn't--the taste of classic Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna.
Another fixture in the retail store is the counter, complete with comfy stools where friends, neighbors and strangers relax to enjoy a piping hot sandwich with or without cheese while sharing a story or two or just enjoying the quiet peace that comes from being in the country while watching traffic that includes horses and buggies, bicycles and cars all making their way through Trail, Ohio.Sugarcreek Budget Publishers, November 2012, Beverly Keller, Local Edition Editor
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