Making ourselves useful since 1949.
This is the story of a small town entrepreneur who founded a company in 1949. Who after just three years bought out his investor, planting the seed of a business that would last for generations. It’s the story of a son who stood up when his name was called and took the helm of leadership at a young age. Who built lasting partnerships, a strong foundation and a name. Of a grandson who understood legacy and family, and embraced the call to build a bright future. It’s the story of hard-working people who joined them in their journey to build a great company and forged life-long friendships along the way.
1949 – Originally located in Decatur, Arkansas.
A young Bill Simmons joined up with financial partner Frank Pluss to found a small poultry company in Decatur, Arkansas.
1950’s – Early success. A reputation for ingenuity.
In 1952, we built our second plant and company headquarters in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Bill’s entrepreneurial spirit flourished and within 3 years he bought out his partner and began building his legacy.
1960’s – Years ahead of the industry.
During the 1960s, Bill Simmons was renowned for creating further-processed, value-added products—years ahead of the rest of the industry. He was also a pioneer in exporting, and in converting chicken by-products into pet food and livestock feed ingredients. Bill’s son, Mark, started working for the company in 1968.
During this period of rapid innovation, Simmons began producing a small pet food brand called “Bolo”. This modest venture put Simmons on the map and led to an eventual partnership with Sam Walton to create and produce a brand of pet food named for Sam’s hunting dog Ol’Roy.
1970’s – Vertical Integration and growth.
In 1974, following the death of his father, Mark Simmons was elected President. Under his leadership, the company integrated its processes and began a trajectory of healthy growth. Early projects included the construction of a hatchery in Siloam Springs and the acquisition of a feed mill.
1980’s – Decade of acquisition and expansion.
The 80’s was a decade of acquisitions and internal expansion. In 1987, Mark Simmons was named Chairman and CEO.
1990’s – Business to business customer concentration.
Mark’s son, Todd, joined Simmons as an hourly team member, working his way through the company and today is the CEO. In the late 1990s, our company’s focus shifted. Rather than investing company resources to build our own consumer brands, we made a strategic decision to concentrate on our business-to-business customers. We focus on maintaining our long-term relationships by developing new products and following emerging trends.
2000’s – Growth and diversification.
Our focus on customer brands propelled our growth in the people, pet and animal food industries. This diversification of our business and our commitment to stay privately owned was key in our ability to thrive through market peaks and valleys.
In 2010 we strategically acquired Menu Foods, which positioned Simmons as one of the leading suppliers of store brand pet food products. To support this position, we also began producing treats and dry pet food. In 2013 Todd Simmons officially took the helm as CEO, leading us into a third generation of consistent Simmons family leadership.
With a renewed commitment to innovation, leadership and the strength of a diversified business, Simmons is growing and thriving. Click here to read the latest.