The Essential Ingredients (Soiree Special Promotion): Jeff Voyles and Louise Henderson of Burge’s

Jeff Voyles & Louise “Mama” Henderson
Owner and Chef, Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys & Hams
5620 R St., Little Rock

Most Gratifying Moment
JV: I was in the Lewisville store a few years ago, and took an incoming call from our toll-free line. I visited with a customer for 30 minutes, talking about the weather, holidays, and family. He was placing one of his regular monthly orders, sending out quite a few packages to various yachts, ranches, etc. His name didn’t ring a bell at first, but I quickly realized he was the patriarch of one of the most successful businesses in the U.S. It was quite satisfying to know that someone who could buy from anywhere in the world, thought of Burge’s Hickory Smoked Meats whenever they wanted to send good food to family and friends.

Recipe for Success

1 | History

LH: I’ve been cooking since I was a child. Have been cooking at Burge’s for over 25 years.

2 | Inspiration

LH: have always enjoyed cooking for others. My mama started me cooking when I was 5 years old. I was so short, I had to stand on a foot-tub to see the stove.

3 | R&D

JV: This business is about customer service, which I first learned sacking groceries at Piggly Wiggly in the 9th grade. Take good care of your customers and they will come back.

4 | Ambiance

JV: It is a very casual, open-space dining room. Seats approximately 100. The chairs and tables are original to this store which opened at this location in 1974. We know most of our customers on a first name basis. You’re likely to see many familiar faces each time you come in.

5 | Recommended

JV: It’s a toss-up … Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Turkey Salad Sandwich, Fried Catfish.

6 | Complicated

LH: Burge’s Smoked Turkey Salad. It’s like a chicken salad, but more of a paste. It’s good on crackers, bread, fritos, or just by itself. It’s a 7 step process. I make it almost everyday throughout the year.

7 | Popular

LH: Our Smoked Turkey Salad is by far the most popular. Folks even drive in from other states just to get some.

8 | Community

JV: I have been involved with local charities for the past 15 years, and I’m always happy to help where I can with a food donation for a good event.


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