Well, it’s hard to believe but it’s that time of year again – TURKEY TIME!! And, you just can’t talk about turkeys without thinking about the wonderful tasting fresh turkeys that Rogers sells and distributes. In this blog, I want to talk about the special Fresh Free Range Turkey we carry known as WILLIE BIRD!!
People always ask me — Is there really a person named Willie that’s involved with Willie Bird turkeys? Well, you bet there is! His name is Willie Benedetti and his farms are up in Sonoma County. In 1963, for a Future Farmers of America project, Willie (then a freshmen in High School) raised a few backyard turkeys that had been allowed to live outdoors and roam unfettered beneath the oak trees that studded the undulating fields of his parents’ ranch. He proudly called them “Ranch Fresh” – now, the popular term is “Free Range.” Soon after, Willie started selling some of his turkeys in his Moms beauty shop. One patron remarked—I got a bird from Willie—-it’s a Willie Bird!!! And the rest is history.
Willie is now a good friend of mine and Rogers Poultry is Willies master distributor here in Southern California. We have an unbelievable amount of return customers year after year, that won’t settle for anything but a Willie Bird!! It’s truly become a tradition in countless households.
My wife Sue and I visit Willie every year on our annual turkey trip. The first time we visited one of his ranches, the three of us were in deep conversation about something and when we looked up, we were in a small open circle surrounded by 10,000 turkeys! Turkeys are a very curious animal, and this particular group being no different, had wandered over to check us out. Well needless to say, Sue and I were a little taken back and nervous. But, one yell of “gobble gobble!” by Willie and they all dispersed immediately. And, Sue dispersed to the car just as fast!!
The Willie Bird Turkey has become so popular that the well-known upscale company –WILLIAMS SONOMA— sells the birds in their catalog. They charge around $150.00 per bird depending on the size. But, you don’t need to order one from a catalog — we carry all sizes and at a much better price right here at Rogers Poultry.
So, from Willie and George——Happy Thanksgiving to all!!