Kestin's Corner - We're more than a brand, we're a family.


Our quality products have a heritage dating back to the early 1800’s at the Hempler’s family sausage kitchen in Borken, Germany. Hans Hempler worked in the family sausage business in Germany as a youngster. He served as an apprentice sausage maker and learned first-hand the family’s old secret recipes becoming a master sausage maker before moving to the United States. Hans came to the United States in 1928 and, in those early years, worked hard and saved his money.

As the story goes, Hans (who couldn’t speak much English) needed to pick a city in America to live and work in. Bellingham seemed like a good choice since he knew what a BELLY and HAM was. Hans came to the United States in 1928 and, in those early years, worked hard and saved his money. He later returned to Germany and married Emmy Hoff, who had been patiently waiting for him for six years. Upon his return to Washington with his bride in 1934, he settled in Bellingham. That same year he bought B.B. Meat and Sausage Co. (now Hempler Foods Group) which has been operated by the Hempler family ever since.

In the 1960’s Hans’ son, Richard (Dick) Hempler, would begin his journey in the family business learning all of the family recipes and traditions from his father.  Just like his father in those early years, Dick worked hard and saved his money and eventually bought out his father’s business partner in the late 1970’s.

In the early 1980’s a young man by the name of Stephen Bates would begin his career in the meat industry at B&B Sausage which sparked the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Dick Hempler.  Stephen Bates helped lead the initiative to rename the company Hempler’s as well as establish the Hempler’s brand in the Northwest marketplace.  Hempler’s continued to make strides as a regional brand with a retail store at the F Street plant as well as distribution with a number of Northwest retailers and restaurants.

Over the next several decades, Hempler’s specialty hams, bacon and sausage products became renowned across the Northwest, living up to Hans Hempler’s original vision of quality ingredients and small batch crafted authenticity.

Hans Hempler and Otto Hahnel 1947

Hempler delivery truck fleet 1940s

Hemplers production floor 1949

Hemplers production floor 1949

Dick Hempler in front of store Borken Germany

Dick Hempler in front of store Borken Germany

Dick and Kestin Hempler

Dick and Kestin Hempler



Still family-owned today and located in Ferndale, Washington, the same values that guided the company founder, Hans Hempler, continue to this day through the leadership of son Richard and grand-daughter, Kestin.

It is our mission, and passion, to produce and distribute the highest quality products, while operating with the highest integrity and standards for personalized service to our customers. We strive to achieve these results by purchasing high quality ingredients and by employing passionate people, training them well, and developing an extended “family” of employees dedicated to accomplishing our mission.

Hempler Foods Group is a member of the following organizations:

  • American Meat Association
  • North American Meat Association
  • Northwest Meat Processors Association
    The Northwest Meat Processors Association is an association of meat processors in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The NWMP has an annual contest for the best products produced and judged by experts in the field. Hempler’s has won many awards for their products including the Best of Show!

Kestin’s Korner
A great place to find Hempler family stories, recipes, our passion for food and our community.

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