Carl B. "Buddy" Hall III, owner of jam, jelly and sauce maker Applecreek Orchards & Farms in Lexington, died Wednesday after a heart attack. He was 66.
After a career as a conductor for Southern Railway, Mr. Hall built a successful business on homestyle preserves, salsas, relishes, marinades and dessert sauces. He also was widely known for his barbecue and fried apple pies. Until recently, Mr. Hall also operated a restaurant, Applecreek Bar-B-Q, on Pasadena Drive.
With his wife, Betty, and their children, Chip and Amy, Mr. Hall started Applecreek Farms' kitchen in 1976. According to his company's Web site, he began by studying traditional Shaker recipes and cooking techniques. Then he experimented with adding Kentucky bourbon and other flavors, and eventually the line grew to include dozens of items, all hand-produced.
Chip Hall said his father's products had been featured on cooking shows such as New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse's and that they had shipped all over the world. The biggest seller was Mr. Hall's first creation, his Kentucky Bourbon Marinade, Chip Hall said.
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Mr. Hall also helped other agricultural entrepreneurs get started. "He was one of the first that tried to find alternatives income streams for Kentucky farmers," said Bob Slone of Slone's Signature Markets, where Mr. Hall often sold barbecue directly from his cooker. "Buddy was one of the original people who got into the (Kentucky Department of Agriculture's) 'Kentucky Proud' line and tried to take advantage of Kentucky-made products."
Leo and Jean Keene of Blue Moon Farm in Richmond credited Mr. Hall with mentoring their garlic business. "Buddy generously fostered our little farm business and several others of which I am aware, sharing freely the benefit of his experience and counsel," they said in an e-mail. "His stories could make one look forward to menial kitchen labor, and he enjoyed hearing stories as much as telling them."
Stuart Burrill, executive director of the Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman, said former Kentucky first lady Phyllis George, a board member, suggested that the center contact Mr. Hall when they were looking to revamp their café. The café added Applecreek Farms' products, including its pies and barbecue, to their menu. "He really wanted to help promote 'things Kentucky.' It was very clear he was motivated by a lot more than money," Burrill said.
George said Thursday that Mr. Hall had been one of her big success stories when she marketed American crafts on the QVC shopping channel and that his jams were always a hit in gift baskets. "I probably put on a few pounds because of Buddy. The peach apricot (butter) was the best," George said. "And every Christmas he made me a bourbon caramel chocolate cake. It would disappear within two days in this house."
Funeral services for Mr. Hall will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Southern Hills United Methodist Church. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road.