Entrepreneurism is in the DNA of the Tripett family from Severna Park. Spanning multiple generations, all members of the Trippett family are involved in the operation of five family businesses in Maryland.
Starting in 1973 with a real estate company, Michael and Judith Trippett began Trippett Enterprises. Based in Severna Park, they own, manage and maintain homes in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Western Maryland, West Virginia, and most recently in the Caribbean island of Antigua.
Son Jason Trippett said, "My parents are honest people who worked hard from nothing to something. We learned the business side from my parents."
As adults, Jason, along with a brother also named Michael, carried on the entrepreneurial spirit instilled by their parents and began business pursuits of their own. Though they did not have previous experience in the meat business, in 2009, they bought a longtime family business in Hagerstown, Maryland: Hoffman's Meats.
Prior to purchasing Hoffman's Meats, both brothers worked in corporate positions in different capacities. “Right after the real estate meltdown in 2008, I said, ‘I have some operations background, and my brother was a master salesman,’” Jason Trippett said. “Let's buy this place and make a run of it,” he told Michael. Later, a third brother, Doward, joined the operations five years ago, and all three brothers now manage different parts of the business.
Now nearly a century old, Hoffman's Meats is a slaughterhouse. Depending on the client, Hoffman's either processes and boxes meat or they turn the meat into products such as bacon and hot dogs. Hoffman's Meats is the only plant in Maryland making hot dogs, and they are the official hot dogs of both the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Redskins. They also have an all-natural and organic line of products, and they sell to retailers such as Whole Foods.
Building on the success of Hoffman’s Meats, the Trippett brothers expanded their ventures, and in 2014 purchased J.W. Trueth in Catonsville, Maryland, a kosher slaughterhouse. Also a century's old and well-established meat processor, J.W. Trueth has beef products that are produced under strict rabbinical supervision.
They are the closest kosher slaughterhouse to New York City and New Jersey, and a rabbi from either of those places travels to Catonsville daily to participate in the processing of the cattle. After the kosher parts of the cattle are used, the remainder of the meats are processed and shipped all over the country. “Some of the best steakhouses in the country buy our meats,” Jason Trippett said with pride but also humility.
Though the two meat processors have different operations, both use local cattle, from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Both also have small retails stores onsite open to the public.
Most recently, the brothers expanded their business circles and now own and operate a self-storage company and catering business, both in Hagerstown.
Jason Trippett said working with his brothers is easy because of their clearly defined roles. “We do logistics. We know our responsibilities, and we get along well.”
Though the family businesses have expanded, the Trippett family’s roots are still firmly planted in Severna Park. The elder Michael Trippett attended Severna Park High School the first year it was built. The only Trippett family member who does not currently live in Severna Park is the younger Michael, who lives in Olney to be nearer to the businesses in Hagerstown.
“We all grew up here,” Jason Trippett shared. “That’s where I’ll die too.”