Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives


Nodine's Smokehouse Calvin and Ronald NodineYou know that someone is really hog wild when they “know a guy” specifically for bacon. But when it came to Ronald Nodine, he loved bacon that much. Whenever he needed to restock his supply, he drove out to the foothills of the Berkshires to visit a farm that made small-batch bacon.

After years of this routine, Ronald made his regular drive to the farm and found out there was no bacon to be seen. The farmer told him that the small-time operation was closing—he was ready to retire. He offered Ronald a pretty savory deal—$100 and he’d hand over his client list and would train Ronald in basic butchery and meat curing. Ronald was suddenly faced with a difficult decision—continue life as an engineer or channel those skills into bacon production. Sold!

Ronald, his wife Johanne and their child Calvin moved to Torrington, Connecticut, to pursue their new endeavor. Unfortunately, Ronald’s bacon mentor passed away two weeks before the new plant was finished and before he could pass on any of his essential knowledge. But Ronald was already in too deep to give up. He audited classes at the University of Connecticut, majoring in Bacon. (Jk, but wouldn’t that be awesome??) We never would’ve guessed that at UConn you can learn about Old World bacon techniques (such as brining meats instead of curing), pomace (aka sustainable apple pulp used to flavor meats) and vegetable powders to enhance flavor... leave it to a true bacon enthusiast to find those specialized classes.

That was 1969. Nodine’s now produces much more than bacon, including poultry, fish and cheeses. They’ve expanded from Torrington to a retail location in Goshen and a restaurant in Canton. Ronald recently hung up his apron, passing the torch to Calvin, who caught bacon fever at age 9.

What hasn’t changed is an uncompromising dedication to the finest, high-quality ingredients and their incredibly innovative foods that are always bacon us crazy.