A holiday staple for tens of thousands of families is returning to tables this season.
Greenberg Smoked Turkeys sold its first turkey in 1939.
“This is my family’s life. This is what we do. We smoke turkeys,” said Sam Greenberg, president of Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, whose late father and grandfather built the business.
Over the past 82 years, the business has grown from selling one turkey, to selling more than 200,000 each holiday season.
But last year, fire snuffed out the streak.
“That was the most empty feeling I've ever had in my life,” Greenberg said.
Sparked by a mechanical failure, the heat and smoke built up in the shipping and freezer facility so much, the entire building exploded.
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Greenberg said the building was gone in an instant, and he was forced to shut down for the season and refund orders.
He lost business.
He lost 87,000 cooked turkeys.
But he says he never lost hope.
“I wasn't going anywhere,” Greenberg said. “I'm not going anywhere.”
Greenberg spent this year gaining back what he lost, rebuilding from the ground up.
Today, the family business is up and running again, like it has for more than 80 years.
“I’m proud as hell of this business,” Greenberg said.
On a normal year, he says he worries about customers coming back.
“I really worry about it this year,” Greenberg said.
With orders already starting to be placed, he says he’s prepared for whatever Thanksgiving brings as his turkeys make their triumphant return to tables.