Using the delicious dishes served in his Columbus, Ohio soul food restaurant as inspiration, William F. “Bill” Williams, along with three partners, Dan Charna, Iris Cooper and Garth Henley, launched Glory Foods in 1989. The vision for this food company, steeped in generations of Southern-style recipes and flavors, came to the table during a friendly discussion about holiday dinner preparation. Williams mentioned to friends the number of hours and care that went into cooking a savory pot of collard greens and how no African-American family celebration is complete without them. How great it would be to have truly authentic canned collard greens, Williams thought. After extensive research, Williams and his partners realized that pre-seasoned, canned collard greens were not available anywhere. So they set out to launch Glory Foods. The company has since become synonymous with quality, convenience and flavorful Southern-style vegetables.
The name Glory was considered because it captured the warm heritage of African-American food traditions as well as a spiritual connotation that the founders felt would resonate with consumers. The release of the feature film “Glory” starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick, which depicted the contributions of African-American soldiers in the Civil War, was further confirmation that Glory Foods was the perfect name, indeed.
Glory Foods officially launched its line of pre-seasoned canned vegetables in 1992 with Columbus, Ohio as its test market. Our initial product line of 17 items focused on greens, peas and beans. Over the past several years, Glory has been able to expand its line to offer 85 products, including seasoned canned greens, bagged fresh greens and other vegetables, the Sensibly Seasoned low sodium product line, and a line of Seasoned Cooking Bases. Glory Foods is now available at retailers nationwide.
Glory Foods is also in the business of giving back to the community. Before his death in 2001, Williams worked tirelessly on his personal mission to attract young African-Americans to the culinary arts and the hospitality field. Glory Foods has now established scholarships in this regard in the name of the late Bill Williams, Sr. and continues to support other programs for minority students. Additionally, Glory Foods donates thousands of its products to food banks in need each year. In 2010, Glory donated product to support relief efforts following hurricane damage in Haiti.
Throughout our history, Glory has held true to its goal of becoming a leading supplier of authentically soulful, Southern-style products. We will continue to celebrate soul food and help families pass down food traditions that enrich their lives. As Williams was known to say, “Glory Foods is our way of inviting America back to the dinner table.” We’d be honored if you’d join us.
Southern Food with a Soulful Heritage