Real estate practitioners love to talk about square footage. We expound upon “Living Area” square footage, “Above” and “Below” grade square footage, the mysterious matter of “Other” square footage, and the dreaded “Unpermitted” square footage (which is “Living Area” square footage created without the benefit of a lawful permit).
But this time of year, my square footage attention turns to the 675,000 square foot Butterball turkey facility in Mount Olive, North Carolina … home to the world’s largest turkey plant. Mount Olive, named for the Biblical Mount of Olives, is a small town about 80 miles southeast of Raleigh. Not only is Mount Olive North Carolina’s unofficial pickle capital (the Mt. Olive Pickle Company is based there), it may also have been the origin of your Thanksgiving bird.
Butterball produces 20 percent of all the turkeys in the United States. That’s 1.2 billion pounds of turkey … and that’s why it takes this 675,000 square foot facility plus five smaller Butterball plants to feed us. 675,000 square feet would gobble up nearly 16 acres … and is roughly 65 times larger than the largest residence currently for sale on allentate.com. I can’t imagine how many bedrooms and bathrooms they could fit in there.
Butterball itself is headquartered just outside Raleigh in the town of Garner. But unless you’re trying to find the CEO (the head turkey), the better location to know about this time of year is in Naperville, Illinois. That’s where the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® is based. The famous turkey hotline opened in 1981 and handled more than 10,000 consumer calls that year. Today, the line receives more than 100,000 callers during the Thanksgiving season alone.
So, let the feasting begin! Set aside your measuring tape and be thankful for your many blessings and opportunities to overeat. And keep this number handy … 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Even the most powerful person in the world sometimes needs help at Thanksgiving.