The Knauss dried beef story began in 1902 when Edward W. Knauss started a small meat market operation specializing in slowly cured and smoked meats. Going door to door in Quakertown and areas just north in the Lehigh Valley, his initial sales were from ham, bacon, hot dogs, and dried beef. E.W. Knauss's products started gaining momentum, but his dried beef was the clear favorite among consumers. As the business grew, it became apparent that a larger USDA-inspected facility would be required to meet the demand for his dried beef. Just along the railroad tracks, in the heart of Quakertown, sat the much-needed facility that would become the home of Knauss Dried Beef.
The manufacturing plant on Broad Street had a large production floor, old-fashioned brick ovens, and a spacious packaging room to handle the substantial increase in production. For five generations and over 100 years, the business remained family-owned and focused on our community-loved Dried Beef. In 1921, Edward W. Knauss turned over the role of president to his son William E., whom Donald Knauss then succeeded as new company president in 1947. Donald's son E. William followed in 1968 and finally handed down operations to the fifth-generation Knauss to run the company, Troy Knauss. Regardless of which Knauss family member was at the helm, the vision was clear: produce the finest dried beef at a fair and competitive price. While there were a couple of other meat snack products introduced by the Knauss family over the years, dried beef stood the test of time and continued to be made using the original family recipe.
Through the latter years of ownership, Knauss acquired L. Foulke & Son, the Andrews Dried Beef Co., and Philadelphia's Carson's Packing Co., which traced its beginnings to 1888. In 2004, Alderfer Inc. of Harleysville, PA, acquired the dried beef division of E.W. Knauss, including the Andrew's, Carson's, and Knauss dried beef brands. For several years, the various brands of Knauss' dried beef products continued succeeding in the marketplace. The brand's growth could be attributed to the three pivotal acquisitions: facility upgrades and expansions, distribution territory extensions, and customer base development.
In 2011, Alderfer Inc. sold the business to Paul J. Kozloff, a seasoned executive from Reading, PA, with years of experience and success in distribution and manufacturing. The newly formed company "Knauss Foods Inc." vowed to continue serving the dried beef markets by produces several different dried beef products for retailers, food service distributors, and food manufacturers in the United States.
Today, Knauss Foods Inc. still operates out of the same facility on Broad Street and uses the original 121-year-old recipe, slowly curing and air drying our authentic Knauss Dried Beef. Knauss Foods takes pride in producing the finest quality dried beef and continues to hold customer satisfaction as our paramount goal.
In addition to keeping our traditions alive, Knauss Foods also looks towards the future, adding new products while continuing to produce our one-of-a-kind dried beef.
To learn more about our story or product line, send us a message using the contact page or by clicking here.
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