PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as the saying goes, but what about an old business? Go to a family farm in Pierce County where they’ve found a new way to make an old favorite – hard boiled eggs.
There's no doubt the chickens came first at Wilcox Family Farms, but the place wouldn't still be here if it weren't for their eggs.
Their little hens are laying new life into the farm started by the Wilcox family in 1909.
A European-designed hard boiled egg machine, one of only six in the country, is a big part of the farm's future.
"They're in the cooker for roughly 15-20 minutes,” said Brent Wilcox, owner of Wilcox Farms.
It takes about half an hour to boil, peel and package the eggs. Thousands are done every day.
“No chemicals and really no touching by the human hand,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox used to process milk in this plant, but about five years ago they got rid of the cows to focus on eggs. It's been a good business move.
Twelve-year-old Jud Wilcox is the fifth generation of Wilcoxs to work here.
"I get kinda sick of eggs after a while,” Jud said.
But customers seem to love them. They're on sale at Top Foods and Metropolitan Markets and they could be in northwest Costcos later this summer.
"People want local, sustainable, cage-free access type eggs,” said Wilcox.
The familiy's been offered to turn the farm into a golf course or housing development, but the Wilcoxs would rather keep their chickens and sell the eggs.
"We just want to keep it in the family, keep it as farm. We see ourselves as caretakers, pass it onto our kids generation,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox’s owners decided to get into the hard boiled business when they realized the only mass produced hard boiled eggs sold locally were from New Jersey. The next venture for Wilcox Farms: raising and selling grass-fed beef.