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Let’s Eat, Mississippi:...

Let’s Eat, Mississippi: Mississippi-made hams shipped around the country

By: Susan Marquez - March 14, 2024

  • Many in the Golden Triangle area of Mississippi, and now around the country, will agree it’s the best ham they’ve ever had.

When planning Easter dinner this year, consider a classic main dish – glazed ham. It’s the ideal option that is loved by most, and the leftovers make great sandwiches. 

When choosing your ham, make it a made-in-Mississippi product. Old Waverly Farm does one thing, and they do it well.

“We make hams and we sell them one ham at a time,” says Dee Berry.

And many in the Golden Triangle area of Mississippi, and now around the country, will agree it’s the best ham they’ve ever had.

Dee and her husband, Ted, both worked for Bryan Foods in West Point, a processed meat company that is no longer in operation.

“When they closed, everybody really missed their bone-in ham that was wrapped in yellow paper. It was one of their best-selling hams.” 

In 2013, George Bryan contacted Ted with the idea of producing a ham that would be like the Bryan Traditional Ham.

“To make the original bone-in ham would be cost-prohibitive today,” says Berry. “It would cost nearly $100, and no one is going to pay that much money for a ham.” 

Ted, George, and other former Bryan Foods employees worked to formulate a ham that could have the flavor and texture of the original ham, and a company was born. The decision was made to make the boneless Old Waverly Farm Ham.

The recipe that Ted and George came up with is very close to the old Bryan Foods ham. The Old Waverly Farm brand was established in 2013, although Berry says there is no Old Waverly Farm.

“We’ve lived on a farm for over 30 years, but it has a different name.” Berry says the name is most likely a nod to the Old Waverly Golf Course in West Point.

The Old Waverly Farm ham is boneless.

“It’s lean, with no water added,” Dee says. “It has the taste and texture of a bone-in ham when prepared properly.”

The ham is slow cooked with real hickory wood chips. Each ham averages five to six pounds and comes fully cooked, enough to serve 12 to 15 people or more, depending on how they are sliced. Berry says the hams are made at the Polk’s plant in Magee.

“We are proud that our ham is made in Mississippi.”

Made of quality lean pork and smoked using real wood, the boneless smoked hams are always welcomed at family celebrations and festive feasts. 

While the company sells hams year round, holidays are the peak time for ham consumption in the United States.

“We do about 3,000 hams at Christmas, because folks give them for corporate gifts,” says Berry. “But we still sell a good many for Easter. It’s the ideal entrée for a crowd, and everyone loves it.”

Berry says she has a friend in Aberdeen who orders “funeral ham” whenever anyone dies.

“She buys ham instead of flowers and says it’s the best $30 she could spend for a grieving family.”

The hams are also used for fundraisers for churches, schools, and other organizations.

“They’ve become really popular as a way for organizations to raise money. People don’t mind spending money on something they’ll enjoy eating.”

Each Old Waverly Farm ham comes with a glaze mix. While the ham can be served as is, the suggested way to prepare the ham is to remove the ham from the wrapper and place in a large cooking bag with one can of cola. Seal the bag and place on a roasting pan in a 350-degree oven for two hours. 

The glaze mix can be combined with two tablespoons of cola, orange juice, or barbeque sauce. Stir well and put glaze in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. Remove the ham and carefully open the top of the cooking bag. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and brush the ham with 1/3 of the glaze, baking for ten minutes. Brush the ham with the remaining glaze twice more in ten-minute intervals. Remove from the oven, slice, serve, and enjoy.

Old Waverly Farm hams are sold at Jubilation’s Coffee Shop in West Point.. The ham is also used by the Old Country Bakery in Brooksville and Proof Bakery in Starkville. The hams are delivered by appointment in the Golden Triangle area. 

With very little marketing, the word got out about Old Waverly Farm’s delicious hams and people started ordering them from around the state, then from other states. The company now ships hams across the United States.

“Our customers spread the word for us,” says Berry.

Once they have experienced an Old Waverly Farm ham, they become family.

“We hear time and time again that Old Waverly Farm ham is one of the best hams people have ever tasted. Just today, we had a customer comment saying, ‘after having your ham, no other comes close!’”

For more information go to, and to order, call Dee at 662-275-1170.

About the Author(s)
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Susan Marquez

Susan Marquez serves as Magnolia Tribune's Culture Editor. Since 2001, Susan Marquez has been writing about people, places, spaces, events, music, businesses, food, and travel. The things that make life interesting. A prolific writer, Susan has written over 3,000 pieces for a wide variety of publications.