About Us

What is the History of Carolina Packers & the famous Bright Leaf Hot Dog?


Carolina Packing Company, as it was originally called, was founded in Smithfield, North Carolina by John A. Jones Sr., a native of Claxton, Georgia, and a group of local businessmen on December 12, 1939. Later, in 1941, the name was changed to Carolina Packers Incorporated. We're a small North Carolina family-owned business.

Buck Jones Founded Carolina Packers

From the very beginning Carolina Packers Inc created a much needed livestock market for Smithfield area farmers, many of whom became charter stockholders in the new company. For the next 50 years, we processed locally-grown beef and pork into hams, bacon, country link sausage and our famous family of “Bright Leaf” hot dogs, bologna, Red Hots and smoked sausage. In 1997, we discontinued slaughtering operations to concentrate our efforts on our Bright Leaf product line. In March, 1977, Mr. Jones’ son, Buck, became president and remained so until his death in 2005. Buck’s wife, Jean continued to carry on the food service

legacy  founded  almost seventy years ago, until her death in February of 2016.


Where does the name "Bright Leaf" come from?

Often folks who are new to our products ask about the origin of our “Bright Leaf” name. The answer is rooted in our North Carolina agricultural heritage. Carolina Packers on Bright Leaf BlvdThe area’s rural economy used to be dominated by tobacco. In fact the section of US Highway 301, in Smithfield, NC, where our plant is located, has long been known as Brightleaf Boulevard, because of the number of tobacco warehouses that lined the highway through Smithfield during the 1940′s. In addition, many of our customers and suppliers grew tobacco as part of their farming operations, so we adopted this name, along with the tobacco leaf in our logo, to identify with our agricultural heritage.


What's next for Carolina Packers Inc?

Carolina Packers Celebrates 75 Anniversary Smithfield North Carolina

Today, Kent Denning is the President and manages the Carolina Packer's business.  We celebrated our 75th anniversary in 2016 and look forward to another 75 years of bringing Bright Leaf products to families throughout North Carolina.

While we have undergone many changes over the years, we have remained loyal to the traditions that have made us a family favorite on the dinner tables of North Carolinians for more than 75 years. Like our famous Hot Dog, our commitment to providing good tasting, wholesome products, has not and will not change. 

Check out our full line of Bright Leaf products and more here.