A couple of Des Moines natives are sharing their love for Iowa pork to those around the world.
Brooks Reynolds, of Des Moines, says his favorite subject growing up was lunch. Reynolds, co-founder of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, now enjoys promoting Iowa pork products with his good friend Marshall Porter.
“We were involved in a non-profit in Des Moines called Young Variety, and one day decided, ‘Let’s put together a festival dedicated to bacon and open up our passion for bacon to the masses,’” Reynolds said.
On March 1, 2018, Reynolds and Porter hosted their first Bacon Festival, serving between 300 and 400 pounds of bacon. The festival continued, attracting more visitors with each event.
“In 2009, we had 400 people. In 2010, we had 800 people,” Reynolds said. “Then it kept doubling in size.”
Reynolds and Porter then decided to expand the event outside of Iowa’s four borders.
“In 2011, we expanded and started an event in Keystone, Colorado. My family’s been going out there for years and bringing great Iowa pork and bacon to that area. In August of 2011, we did the first Reykjavik Bacon Festival in Iceland. We served 200 pounds of bacon to 400 people. It wasn’t that organized, but we had a lot of fun. that’s when our international mission of bacon fellowship, as we like to call it, expanded. Now we do seven major events around the world,” Reynolds said.
The duo now plans to take the celebration to Kofu, Japan, Des Moines’ sister city.
More information about the Japan Bacon Festival will be published on Monday and featured in Tuesday’s edition of Agribusiness Matters.