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Bob Evans: linked to quality

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In his quest to make top-quality sausage for truckers, Bob Evans built a restaurant empire that bears his name.

True, he said a couple of things that might lead one to believe he cared only about the perception of quality: “People like to deal with farmers. They like to buy stuff from the farm. They think it’s fresher. In their mind, it’s better, and they’re willing to pay more for it.”

Evans, who died this year, believed in quality, picking out the best parts of the hog to make his sausage.

“You might say the truck drivers did my research for me,” he said. “They would tell me that this was the best sausage they ever had, and then buy 10-pound tubs to take home.”

Evans’ first restaurant opened in 1962, originally called the Sausage Shop. It had 12 stools. In his later years, Evans clashed with the company, but even a former chief executive gave credit where it was due, calling Evans “a creative guy, an idea man, a quality-control specialist.”

—Adapted from “Bob Evans, 89; Sausage and Restaurant King,” The Washington Post.

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