To apply for a job, visit the smokehouse at 10857 Texas Highway 154 in Marshall.
MARSHALL/HARRISON COUNTY (KYTX) - Since World War II, Bear Creek Smokehouse has shipped their turkeys and other cured meats to every state in the nation.
Well, now they have a new product. It brings chocolate and bacon together. They're one of the few companies that can manufacture it, and it could be available in stores this fall.
"The Bacon Bark orders are stacking up. I mean, they're coming in daily. Heavily," says George Kennedy, supervisor for Bear Creek Smokehouse.
The idea came from a company brainstorm meeting. A few weeks and incentives later, Bacon Bark is becoming reality, along with more jobs for Harrison County. Kennedy says his company has the market nearly cornered.
"Our competitors in the confection industry would love to make this," Kennedy said. "However, to make it, you have to be a USDA-inspected facility, so that just narrows our competition down big time."
Bear Creek is waiting for chocolate-melting equipment from Wisconsin before it can begin mass production later this month. For now, they're only able to make a little at a time, but company owners Robbie and Tracy shoults are already tasting the savory fruits of their labor.
"We eat it all the time," Tracy Shoults said, "and the kids absolutely love it."
Bear Creek Smokehouse anticipates having this product available at select vendors at some point this fall, and of course, you can come here to the smokehouse gift shop to get your own sample. And it's good.
"Bacon Bark is really the best of both worlds: bacon and chocolate mixed in together in a creamy confectionary coating," Robbie Shoults said.
It's also a job creator.
Last month, the Marshall Economic Development Corporation and Kilgore College Small Business Development Center presented Bear Creek with $48,000 to buy the equipment to begin production. Over the next two years, bear creek will add 19 full-time jobs.
"We approached MEDCO with a proposal on this idea and the equipment that was needed, and they really helped us out a lot," Robbie Shoults said.