If you've ever traveled through Oklahoma and Texas, you've probably seen the billboards touting Robertson's ham sandwiches and smoked meats. If you haven't heeded the signs, you've missed a real Oklahoma & Texas tradition.
Robertson's has been in business since 1946, when V.B. "Tup" Robertson opened his first store in downtown Marietta. In the early days we had just one smokehouse that would hold about 15 hams. Since then, the family owned meat business has just evolved. During the 1950s we started to advertise our smoked meats on highway billboards.
When the state Interstate system was built in the early '60's, life changed forever for our meat business. What had been a seasonal business during the summer and at Christmas, became consistent year-round when the interstate highway opened. This also opened the opportunities for expansion with our franchise stores.
The small frontier stores in Oklahoma and Texas have been a decades-long popular stopover for hungry travelers, but the heart of the trade - smoked hams, our Trademark Real Beef Jerky, and other smoked meats - has not changed much since Robertson began smoking meats as his father had done in the early 1900's. "The ham is smoked the old-fashioned way. We don't hurry it - we just slow-smoke it."
Today, Robertson's gets beef from Texas and Kansas; turkeys from Arkansas and Missouri; and pork from Iowa and Oklahoma, all are smoked and sold with the Robertson's label. The key to keeping all the products top quality is buying lean, quality meats.
Today our Processing plant is 31,000 square foot facility that is located near our Marietta, OK store. There, meat cuts are seasoned and cured for a week, then sliced, smoked, and packaged. During the process, hams are hand rubbed with cure, removing as much water as possible, unlike many commercially processed hams that are heavy with moisture. As far as smoke goes, nothing beats hickory wood - it simply adds a better flavor.
There are five franchise stores in Oklahoma and Texas. They, too, feature the "old fashioned" ham, turkey, bacon, sausage, and pork loin along with the Robertson's famous "Real" Beef Jerky.
In operation for more than five decades, many customers are no longer strangers. The tradition of personal contact goes back a long way but when customers can't visit in person, they keep in touch through Robertson's mail order business. And now with modern technology our store is only a point and click away.