In 1978, Bill Soffel opened a smokehouse in the Utah town of Stockton. The smokehouse later moved north to a new location in Tooele County. In 1983, Merle and Ann Thompson took over ownership and the smokehouse became known as Thompson's. In 2006, their son Robbie Thompson became the owner.
For more than three decades, folks have traveled from all over Utah, Idaho and Wyoming to purchase jerky and have their game processed at Thompson's.
In February 2010, Robbie Thompson and his daughter Jamie Thompson decided to open a new location in West Haven to better accommodate their clientele from the north. They also brought in Jamie Thompson's fiance, Mitchell Kinder, as head chef so that the new location could include a restaurant.
Thompson's specializes in turkey, buffalo and assorted flavors of beef jerky -- including barbecue, Cajun and jalapeno. The turkey and beef jerky are sold by the pound ($15.49), and the leaner buffalo jerky is sold by the half-pound ($9.50). Thompson's also processes fresh game, including deer, antelope, elk, moose and bear (75 cents per pound) and turns meat into jerky ($3 per pound).
"Our jerky doesn't have preservatives like jerky bought at the store. It is thick and more tender," Jamie Thompson said.
The menu includes sandwiches such as the BBQ Beef ($3.75), made from top sirloin smoked on-site, sliced and doused in barbecue sauce; and the Hot Italian Sausage ($3.25), made using homemade sausage with marinara sauce on a brat bun.
The Pork Burrito ($3.25) is made with a green chili sauce, pork and onions stuffed inside a tortilla. Drinks (89 cents-$1.49) and sides (50 cents), such as chips, macaroni salad and baked beans, are also available.
They also offer custom smoking. Last year, Thompson's smoked more than 700 turkeys for special occasions.
Jamie Thompson said the business has always been in the family, beginning with her great-grandfather Bill Soffel, and she has grown up working in the family-run business.