McCall Farms Providing Farm-Fresh Vegetables 170 Years Later
A family-owned cannery in Effingham, S.C., McCall Farms continues to provide farm-fresh canned vegetables, fruit and peanuts through its Margaret Holmes and Peanut Patch brands after more than 170 years in business.
The history of McCall Farms dates back to 1838 when the family’s patriarch, James McCall, established a 2,000-acre farm.
Through hard work, innovative farming techniques and the fertile soil of Florence County, McCall built a legacy, as the farm became well known for providing fresh southern vegetables for dinner tables across the South.
McCall Farms harvests its crops at the peak of the growing cycle, and the field-to-can process takes only 16 to 18 hours. Dedicated to its home state, more than 80 percent of McCall Farms produce comes from local South Carolina farmers.
The company recently has branched out, though, adding a third brand to its canning stable with the acquisition of former space competitor Glory Foods.
With the addition of the strong Glory brand, McCall Farms’ base product distribution now expands from the southeastern United States to California and into the Northeast and Midwest. All three brands can be found in regional grocery stores and national retailers including Walmart, BI-LO, Piggly Wiggly, Publix, IGA, Winn-Dixie and Food Lion. McCall Farms’ Peanut Patch boiled peanuts also are available hot and ready to eat in convenience stores across America.
In one calendar year, McCall Farms processes and ships product to more than 150 grocery stores in more than 20 states with a variety of southern canned vegetables.
Margaret Holmes canned vegetables products are available in sizes from a 14.5-oz. can to a 3-lb. can. The line of Peanut Patch boiled peanuts is available in a 13.5-oz. can to a 6-lb. can; a foil pouch is available in 12.5 oz.; and the hot and ready-to-serve boiled peanuts, found at convenience stores, are available in 16- or 24-oz. self-filling containers.
Margaret Holmes’ regular, seasoned and low sodium options includes a variety of greens (collard greens; spinach; kale); peas and beans (butter peas, crowder peas; kidney beans; pinto beans); tomato products (tomatoes, okra and corn; triple succotash; Hoppin John; Ga. stewed tomatoes; Ga. Whole peeled tomatoes; Ga. diced tomatoes); vegetables (diced rutabagas, cut okra, yellow squash); Seasoned southern classics (seasoned collard greens, seasoned turnip greens, seasoned mustard greens, seasoned green beans and potatoes with Vidalia onions); southern peaches; and Peanut Patch boiled peanuts (original and Cajun flavored).
“We realize the importance of delivering a cross-section of products that appeals to a broad spectrum of consumers,” said Marion Swink, president of McCall Farms. “Through the years, we’ve made it a point to add a variety vegetables, served a variety of ways. These options allow for those looking for the taste of grandma’s home cooking or who are maintaining a more strict diet, the ability to enjoy our products.”
There are more new products to come for the family-owned business. For Peanut Patch, a new barbecue boiled peanut flavor will be entering the market in early October. There also will be a new, all-encompassing meal solution called Margaret Holmes Simple Suppers. This new line will include Beef Stew; Chicken n’ Noodles; Creole Fixin’s; and Chili.
“The addition of these new products will be as big a change to our stable of goods that we’ve ever offered to consumers,” said Swink. “This will be a top-notch, convenient, nutritious meal in a can that hasn’t been done before by a cannery.”
The Swinks understand that consumers value great taste, ease of cooking and most of all, good nutrition. As a result, they are committed to delivering the freshest, best tasting southern vegetables in a form that can be prepared easily and quickly.
Each Margaret Holmes brand also utilizes social media to keep its loyal customers up-to-date on special offers, recipes and contests. Combined, the Peanut Patch and Margaret Holmes Facebook pages have in excess of 15,000 fans.
“McCall Farms focuses on our three brands: Margaret Holmes, Peanut Patch and Glory Foods. We concentrate on making
top quality, diverse product lines so the customer will buy our brands over and over again,“ said Woody Swink, regional sales manager.
In the feature photo: From left: McCall Swink, Marion Swink, Henry Swink and Woody Swink.