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The Blakes family farm began in 1929 on Silk Farm Road in Concord, New Hampshire, and was founded by Clara Blake (Charlies grandmother). By 1945, Claras son Roy established Blakes Turkey Farm, making the fresh-dressed turkey business his sole focus. Roy was a purist and perfectionist and won countless awards for raising the finest free-range, all-natural turkeys in the country. A fresh Blakes turkey became standard holiday fare for thousands of New England families and the trip to their farm to pick up their Blakes turkey became part of the holiday tradition.
It was during the early 1950s that Roys son Charlie got his first taste of life as a turkey farmer. While most ten year olds were getting fishing rods or bb guns for their birthdays, Charlies dad, Roy, gave him 100 two-day-old turkeys to raise. Charlie took great pride in his flock, tending to them around the clock. Farming was in his blood and he could not have gotten a better present.
After graduating from Concord High School, Charlie attended the Thompson School of Agriculture at the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 1966. After graduation, he immediately became immersed in all aspects of managing the farm. Charlie eventually took over the farm in 1970 and built Blakes to be a powerful New England brand.
One day in the spring of 1970, Charlie found himself with some extra turkey meat in the farms kitchen and decided to experiment with his grandmothers recipe for turkey pot pie. He cut the vegetables by hand, made the gravy and crust from scratch, and baked 12 pies in the oven. Charlie loaded them in the back of his 1967 Chevy van, drove to St. Johns Church on Main Street in Concord and began selling the pies out of the back of his van. He was out of pies in 20 minutes, he realized was onto something. Thirty-six years later, the recipe is still the same, using only the finest all-natural and organic ingredients. And just like Charlie did 36 years ago, they are still cutting their vegetables by hand and making their gravy and crusts from scratch. Theres simply no other way to make a Blakes meal.