The Herbruck family has been in the egg business since at least the 1920s, when Harry Herbruck Sr. started an egg delivery company in the Flint, Michigan, area. As his business grew, so too did the area of delivery territory. He wholesaled the eggs from Flint to Saginaw to Detroit. Eventually, as the next generation of Herbrucks became involved with the business, they realized the routes were increasingly around the St. John’s area, more in the center of the state than the other regions. At this point, in the late 1940s, the small company decided to build a warehouse in St. John’s to help service the increasing number of routes.
Harry Jr. continued to run his egg routes as he and Marilyn began having children — first Stephen, then Terry. A few years later, Melanie was born and then Greg. As the children started coming and the family foundation needed to be stronger than ever, a decision was to be made. The writing was on the figurative wall for the small, family farm egg business. If they wanted to stay in the egg business, they’d have to start producing their own eggs.
Despite having just recently built a new house in St. John’s, the new, young Herbruck family heard of an opportunity from the builders of the house. There was a chicken coop for sale down in Saranac, Michigan, about 35 miles over.
It took about six months of negotiations, but Herbruck’s were soon the proud new owners of a chicken operation and the family of six made their way to Saranac in 1958, splitting off from Harry Herbruck and Sons and starting Herbruck’s Poultry with 3,000 birds.
Today, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch is run today by Harry Jr.’s sons, with their sister as a fellow shareholder. Five members of the fourth generation also work in the business. The company’s flock has grown from 3,000 laying hens in the 1950s to over 10 million today — but its founding principle remains the same:
Do what’s right – for the hens, for the employees, for the consumers, for the community and for the Earth.