The Hunt-Norwood family eats meat seven days a week. They feel safe doing so because in their own words, they know where their meat is coming from: locally raised, locally slaughtered.
The young couple Crystal and Derek Norwood—under the guidance of Crystal’s father, Chuck Hunt—relocated to Tennessee from Florida to buy and operate one of the few remaining independent, USDA-approved slaughter houses in the state. They supply whole hogs for several of the restaurants in the area.
But they also sell to the public: fully butchered animals, steaks, three spice-levels of home-ground sausage, and fresh bacon. The Norwoods are interested in changing the perceptions of those used to buying pre-packaged cuts from department store-sized groceries. They value the lives of animals, the ritual of the slaughter, and the kindness of a family-run business.
We first visited this location in 2003, as part of our initial foray into documenting rural Tennessee ‘cue. Visit the original Hays Smoke House/Meat Co. page.