LIMA — Rudolph Foods, the world’s largest producer of pork rinds, is beginning to expand its business beyond the rind.
The company, headquartered in Lima, has begun to produce popcorn and is offering restaurants the opportunity to serve its product freshly fried, said Kevin Sargent, vice president of operations with Rudolph Foods.
Sargent spoke at the Rotary Club of Lima meeting on Monday, an organization the founders and owners of the company have long been involved in.
Rudolph was at the meeting as a part of the club’s “What’s for Dinner” series on the local food economy, and said he came “to make sure everyone understands that Rudolph Foods is really here to help support the community.”
“We believe our success will turn into success for the community,” he said, hopefully in the form of creating jobs.
The company, originally built on a secret recipe, is growing into the restaurant industry.
“We’re selling small packaged pellets to local restaurants,” Sargent said. “There’s nothing better than a product that’s just been cooked. … People seem to really like it.”
Pork rinds are made of pork skin, which is rendered down, cooked into a pellet and deep fried in lard, Sargent said.
Then, it pops out into a pork rind.
Rudolph Foods, located at 6575 Bellefontaine Road in Lima, has a special recipe and a different process than its competitors.
“We believe we are a lot better than our competitor,” Sargent said. “We believe we have a better taste.”
Pork rinds are also a healthy snack, he said. They have protein, no carbohydrates and contain healthy oils.
The company, established in 1955, produces 2 million pounds of pork rind snacks a week, he said.
“We’re a good company, family based,” Sargent said. “We believe in creating jobs and we really want to give back part of our success to the community we work in.”