Bob Evans Farms got its start when our founder, Bob Evans, began making sausage
on his southeastern Ohio farm to serve at a 12-stool diner he owned in nearby Gallipolis
"We served a lot of breakfasts, but we couldn't get any decent sausage,"
Bob recalled. "So I decided to start making my own from hogs raised right on
our farm, using all the best parts of the hog, including the hams and tenderloins."
The restaurant drew many truck drivers who traveled through the region. "You
might say the truck drivers did my research for me," Bob said. "They would
tell me that this was the best sausage they ever had, and then buy 10-pound tubs
to take home."
These good reports prompted Bob Evans to go into the sausage business. The building
where he made the sausage was built with open ends, at the suggestion of his father,
so it could be used as a machinery shed if the sausage business failed. But, it
didn't fail. In 1953, a group of friends and family recognized the growing demand
for Bob's sausage and became business partners by establishing Bob Evans Farms.
As the reputation of Bob Evans Sausage grew, Bob Evans invited people to his farm
in Rio Grande, Ohio. "There were so many people coming to the farm that we
finally built a little restaurant in 1962 just to take care of them. It started
out with only a dozen stools -- just a convenience place," Bob recalled.
The original Bob Evans Restaurant on the farm was called The Sausage Shop. Although
it started with 12 stools, today the restaurant can seat 134.
The farm has evolved into a tourist attraction with camping and hiking and events
throughout the year. The largest event is our
Bob Evans Farm Festival, being held the second full weekend, Friday through
Sunday, in October.
In 1987, Bob Evans Farms added to the family through the acquisition of Owens Foods,
then Owens Country Sausage, based Texas and again in 2004 with the acquisition of
Mimi's Café, based in California.
To read more about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit
Our Company page.
Before joining Bob Evans Farms Inc. in 2006, Davis worked at Yum! Brands, Inc.,
where he had been president of Long John Silver’s and A&W All-American
Food Restaurants since 2002.
Previously, Davis served in a variety of operations management and other executive
positions in Yum! Brands’ Pizza Hut division, including senior vice president
of concept development where his team introduced the Wing Street concept.
Bob Evans was born on May 30, 1918, to Elizabeth Lewis and Stanley L. Evans in Sugar
In 1946, Bob Evans owned a small truck stop in southeastern Ohio. Breakfast was
a large portion of his business, and he wanted to
make sure he was serving quality sausage to his customers.
So, he decided to produce his own sausage -- using all the hams and tenderloins
for a tasty, memorable product. Word traveled fast. People started to visit Bob
at his farm in Gallia County -- they wanted to meet the man who took such pride
in his work. Of course, they were hoping for a sample of the acclaimed sausage.
As time went on, the occasional visitors became more frequent. In 1962, the company
opened the original Bob Evans Restaurant, which was called The Sausage Shop, in
Rio Grande, Ohio.
That small business venture launched decades ago has blossomed into a restaurant
and food products empire with more than 35,000 employees.
Bob Evans retired as president of Bob Evans Farms on Dec. 31, 1986.
The only person in Ohio to be honored three times by the National Wildlife Federation,
Bob Evans spent more than 40 years preserving wildlife. He also planted seeds for
the future of the agricultural industry through his support of youth organizations
such as 4-H and FFA and his involvement in higher education. He was a former
of the Ohio Board of Regents, the state's public higher education governing board.
He also worked with college students at The Ohio State University's College of Food,
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Bob was a big supporter of year-round grazing as a way to help maintain the traditional
family farms in America. Grazing cattle in pastures of different grasses throughout
the year is intended to help cut expenses for farmers. With year-round grazing,
farmers can theoretically eliminate two of their biggest expenses - their balers
and stored feed.
He also supported many community organizations, including the Heart Fund, Ohio Society
for the Prevention of Blindness, Arthritis Foundation and Easter Seals.
Mr. Bob Evans passed away on Thursday, June 21, 2007. Bob Evans is survived by his
wife, Jewell, who continues to live in southeastern Ohio where they raised their
Want to learn more about the legacy of Bob Evans? For more information, visit ABountifulHeart.com,
where you can learn more about A Bountiful Heart: The Life of Bob Evans, written
by Robbin Evans, daughter of Bob Evans. Or,
click here to visit a site that we created to celebrate the legacy of Bob
Company's First Chairman
Emerson Evans was the first chairman of the board of Bob Evans Farms. He held this
position until 1971, when his son, Dan Evans, was elected to the position.
Dan Evans started with Bob Evans Farms in 1956, working at the company's sausage
production plant in Xenia, Ohio. In 1959, he became manager of the Bob Evans Farms
Sausage production plant in Bidwell, Ohio. Five years later, he moved to the corporate
headquarters, then located in Gallipolis, Ohio, as executive vice president of Bob
Dan was elected to chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1971, Dan
Evans succeeded his father, Emerson Evans, the company's founding board chairman
and chief executive officer. Dan retired from his position as chief executive officer
in April 2000, from his position as chairman of the board in April 2001, and from
the board in August 2006, after serving Bob Evans' stockholders, customers and employees
for 50 years.
Dan was instrumental in Bob Evans' success by profitably growing the business while
maintaining Bob Evans' commitment to high-quality, delicious food, outstanding customer
service and ethical standards.