Family Owned Third Generation Strong.
As a young boy, John Polk watched his parents transform what started as a retirement project of preparing hickory smoked ham into a successful business. John saw the potential in what his parents had started, so in 1974 he took the reins of the company. By keeping his parents' secret recipe for the hickory smoked flavor, and adding his own recipe for success, John has steadily grown the product offerings over the years. Now Polk's Meat Products provides a wide variety of smoked meats that drive even the pickiest customers back for more.
In April of 1998, Polk's purchased Hickory Hollow Farms along with the Magnolia Brand label. The tremendous growth of the business soon led to a new manufacturing facility. In May of 2000, all manufacturing was consolidated into a large, state of the art plant located in Magee, MS. This expansion led to an increase of five times the production of the previous two plants combined.
In 2011, after thirty-seven years as the CEO, John assumed the role as Chairman making it possible to pursue a second career in public service. This opened the door for his daughter Julie to become CEO, something she had been training for since 2000, when she began working for the company full time. Under Julie’s aggressive leadership, Polk’s looks to further its position as the largest smoked meat processor in the State of Mississippi and expand into new markets nationwide. No matter the size of the job, Polk’s will continue to offer the finest smoked meats available for retail or food service.
Don has 20+ years in the food service distribution sales with experience with Dart Container in Mason, MI and Spurrier Chemical in Wichita, KS. Don joined Polk’s in January of 2016. He is responsible for all food service sales to distributors, works with regional food chains and manages our foodservice broker network.
Don graduated from Mississippi State University and also worked in the foodservice industry while attending school. He and his wife Jerrie Lynn have been happily married for 19 years and live in Brandon, MS. They are the parents of four boys, three that have graduated high school and the youngest will be a senior in high school this year.
Laura Tillman is a 25-year veteran of the food industry. She joined Polk’s Meat Products in 2004 and has the retail coverage responsibility for all Sam’s Clubs and Winn Dixie stores for the company.
Laura has volunteered for the March of Dimes and Love’s Kitchen in her spare time. She served on the Lauderdale County Tourism Board for four years.
She is the proud mother of two children and has two grandchildren.
Vince has 46 years’ experience in the grocery business, having spent 26 years with Albertsons, Pic-N-Save Drugs and Walmart. He has four years of food broker experience with Marketing Specialist. He also has 7 years of restaurant management experience. Vince joined the Polk’s team in October of 2008 and has worked his way from sanitation, smokehouse, wrap room and shipping to the sales department. He currently manages all the DSD customers in the state of Mississippi.
Vince has four children, including a Sargent in the US Marines currently serving in Japan. He is the proud grandfather of two.