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In the November 2013 issue of SAVEUR magazine, writer Betsy Andrews admitted she “always thought chicken was a snooze,” until she tasted Joyce Farms’ Poulet Rouge Fermier, describing it as “succulent, firm flesh dripping with robust juices that tasted of, well, chicken.”

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October 22, 2013 7:44:43 PM EDT

Joyce Foods Inc. announced its official entry into the Heritage Turkey Market as part of its 50th Anniversary Commemoration. Earlier this year, Joyce Foods placed a limited number of Heritage Black Turkeys on one of its small Carolina Farms.

"The Black Turkey is a very old breed, probably the first one to be developed from Native American stocks. Some of the first turkeys taken to Europe in the 1500s were Black Turkeys where they became very popular, particularly in Spain. The Black Turkey was admitted to the APA Standard in 1874. It is a naturally mating, slow growing breed well suited for the outdoors. The Heritage Black Turkey produces very flavorful and tender meat," according to Ron Joyce, president and CEO of Joyce Foods, Inc. Denis Dronne, executive chef and vice president of sales, stated, "our Heritage Black Turkeys are raised:

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November 8, 2012 11:28:00 PM EST

WHOLE STORY, July 2012
Ever wondered what it takes to raise pastured poultry?  It’s not quite as simple as opening the barn doors and letting the birds roam free! It takes the right bird (one that can thrive outdoors) as well as a farmer that not only understands the birds and the land, but also how they interact, to make a pastured-poultry system work well.

Since January 2011, Whole Foods Market® has required all our chicken, beef and pork farms to be certified to the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program, and this year we are in the process of having all our turkey vendors certified too. A group of our poultry producers raise pastured birds, which, along with meeting many other animal welfare criteria, earns them a Step rating of 4, 5 or 5+. These birds live continuously on pasture, rangelands, or wooded areas, and must have shelter from the weather and predators, as well as features in the environment to encourage the birds to roam like bushes and shrubs.

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July 27, 2012 11:25:00 PM EDT

TASTING: Is a $35 Chicken Worth the Splurge?
Rare breeds of chicken allowed to mature for longer periods than the supermarket variety are touted for their rich taste. But are they really worth the sticker-shock prices and overnight shipping costs? We compared three specialty birds with our favorite supermarket chicken, from Bell & Evans ($2.29 per pound). The winning birds bested the Bell & Evans chicken and are highly recommended – for those with unlimited chicken budgets. – Elizabeth Bomze

Joyce Foods Poulet Rouge Fermier du Piedmont
Price: $15-$17 per bird, depending on size, plus overnight shipping
Comments: Tasters liked the “high-tone chickeny” flavor of these birds raised on small North Carolina farms inspired by the famous French slow-growth program, Label Rouge.

April 27, 2008 11:22:00 PM EDT

THE NEW YORK TIMES - October 3, 2007

guinea fowlGuinea fowl, which originated in Africa, are known in France as Pintades (pronounced pan-TAHD). The ones raised by Joyce Foods in the Piedmont region of North Carolina are a French heritage breed, and they have not lost their accent.

Though they may show up on game menus, these guinea fowl are free-range and farm-raised. Besides, there is nothing gamy about their white breast meat or even their dark-fleshed wings, thighs and legs. “Tastes like chicken” might apply, if chicken tasted this good.

The birds are processed by hand and then air-chilled, not water-chilled, which results in better texture and flavor because the meat does not soak up the water. The company also raises pheasants, but I found them less flavorful. The guinea fowl, about three pounds each, are $10.99 a pound at Eli’s Manhattan and $6.99 a pound at some Kings markets in New Jersey.

October 27, 2007 11:21:00 PM EDT

Ron Joyce is in love with a French chick.

The Poulet Rouge de Fermier du Piedmont, that is — the red farm chicken of the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It's shaped differently than the standard chicken, with a long breast, a high keel bone, and long legs. It tastes different, too, with a pronounced chickeny flavor and firmer meat. And in the chicken house, it looks different. It has auburn feathers and a featherless neck, covered with pink skin. Those in the know refer to the breed as the Naked Neck

Joyce owns Joyce Foods, a chicken-processing business started by his family in 1962. In the beginning, Joyce Foods worked with fast-food restaurants. But along the way, Joyce became a fan of chickens. "Believe it or not, I'm a bird lover," he says. In 1995, Joyce Foods added free-range chicken from Ashley Farms to its line. But a few years ago, Joyce began to question the true meaning of terms such as free-range and organic.

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August 27, 2007 11:20:00 PM EDT

THE Charlotte Observer – June 3, 2006

French chef Denis Dronne looks over a Poulet Rouge chicken. Joyce Foods' Ashley Farms in Chatham County is the only place in the country producing an heirloom French farmhouse chicken called the Poulet Rouge. It's an old breed, raised free-range. With its feathers on, the Naked Neck chicken is a strange bird. Tall, crayon-red comb jutting up, round red wattles swinging down. Auburn feathers, with a stub of dark green at the tail. Then there's that neck. No feathers, just pink skin. Sort of like a vulture's neck.

Feathers off, it still looks different, with a long breast, high breast bone and long legs. And, yes, it tastes different, with firmer meat and a pronounced flavor. It tastes like chicken, but more so. If Ron Joyce were raising chickens for looks, he would have passed this one by. But Joyce, owner of Joyce Foods in Winston-Salem, wanted to raise a chicken for taste.

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July 3, 2006 11:13:00 PM EDT

At first glance, these chickens look a bit strange. With their naked necks and elongated breasts and legs, some might even call them ugly. But after spending more than a year with his new flock, Joyce Foods owner Ron Joyce, like a proud father, calls them “absolutely beautiful.” And he’s betting that American chefs will think so, too.

Following in the tradition of France’s Label Rouge-labeled poultry, known for its premium taste and high standards, Joyce has created a new breed of chicken for high-end chefs in the United States.

Having grown up in the business—his father had a small poultry wholesale business selling primarily to independent grocery stores—Joyce is up for the task. After taking over the business in 1981, Joyce Foods, Winston-Salem, NC, evolved into one of the largest independent chicken processor/distributors in the Carolinas and Virginia, supplying product to fast-food restaurants.

By the early ‘90s, Joyce was looking to diversify and in 1995 Ashley Farms was born, producing and distributing specialty products aimed at fine dining restaurants and gourmet retail markets. “My goal at the time was to produce the best all-natural chicken in the country,” Joyce says, which he feels they’ve accomplished. All of the products, whether they be chicken, poussin, French guinea, quail, partridge, turkey or pheasant are raised humanely, without hormones or antibiotics and fed only natural grains with no animal by-products. By 2001, Joyce saw where his company’s future lay and sold off the fast-food distribution part of his business.

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June 27, 2005 11:13:00 PM EDT

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