This is the story of Reed's.
In 1971 "Big Fred" Reed created a condiment for his steak house as a marinade and as the “house” salad dressing. Lo' and behold, it was a HUGE HIT with all the locals.
After several years of the happiest marriage, Big Fred's wife Margie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Due to the need for a flexible schedule in order to travel with Margie for chemo treatments, Big Fred made the decision to sell his restaurant in Borger, Texas and started making Reed's Italian Dressing full-time.
In 2004, the breast cancer got the best of her and dear Margie passed away. To make her proud, Big Fred was determined to make Reed's Italian Dressing a household name. Alone, he journeyed to state fairs and craft shows all across OK, TX, NB, KS, NM, and CO to share his dressing with the world. Pretty soon, he was stocked in over 1200 grocery stores across the states. Everywhere he went, everyone loved Big Fred and Big Fred loved them. So Reed's Italian Dressing was Big Fred's adventure. His legacy.
Sadly, in November 2020, Big Fred passed away due to COVID-19. Many hearts were broken by this news of the loss of Big Fred. Many also were sad they would no longer be able to get his dressing.
To carry on his legacy, his daughter Leslie and her husband John decided they would forego their home remodeling business and take over the family business so that Big Fred's name could live on one bottle at a time.
Meet Our Team
Our Founder, The Legend
Big Fred loved life. He was always laughing and made the most of every situation. He was a gypsy at heart and traveled around putting in restaurants in where he landed—five in Texas and one in Oklahoma. Texas always was his favorite place. He had a Texas sized heart, and it showed!
Big Fred was smitten with the true love of his life, Margie, since they were 16. They had two children and were happily married 40 years before she died of breast cancer in 2004. He was devastated and decided to go hog wild to get his dressing in grocery stores by doing trade shows. That’s where he found his other family. He traveled around for years making friends and good customers—they loved him and he loved them right back.
Big Fred never missed church when he wasn’t traveling. He was the cook for the annual pancake breakfast for 30 years—he was the best cook! He loved spending time with his family and helping plan parties. He was the first one there to help and the last one to leave, always making sure people were laughing, and his stories were the best! He loved watching Texas football, the Cowboys and Tech. Baseball was huge for him, too—the Rangers of course. He loved watching old westerns, with John Wayne his favorite. He loved old country and western songs and the golden oldies. He was always playing cards with friends, and he enjoyed playing golf and deep sea fishing when he wasn’t working. His favorite drink was a cold Bud Light and his favorite snack was salted peanuts. Big Fred was the most helpful man there ever was and always willing to lift a hand even to complete strangers. A great man with a Texas sized heart, that was our Big Fred!
Marketing, Customer Service, Non-stop Talker
Leslie was living her best life shopping every day and working in the design field for her clients. Life changed instantly when her dad, Big Fred, died unexpectedly. Now, instead of treasure hunting for clients, she plans craft shows, answers every email and phone call and tries to do tech stuff. She’s terrible at it, but she’s trying! Leslie got her degree in marketing and thrives at craft shows because again, her favorite thing to do is talk—she rarely shuts up! She was born to be a salesperson, with a passion for selling her dad’s dressing, and she’s really loud about it! Little did she know in midlife she would add traveling carny to her resume, which fits her personality just fine. Leslie loves spending time with all her kids and grandkids, hiking, kayaking, flea markets, party planning and spending time with her amazing husband, John, who after 20 years of marriage still thinks he hung the moon!
CEO Director of Operations, The brains Behind the Scene, the Energizer bunny
John was living the good life, retired from oil and gas, traveling and dabbling in home remodeling with his wife of 20 years, Leslie, until his father-in-law suddenly passed away. John stepped up in a big way. Knowing absolutely nothing about the food industry, he took over all the buying, invoicing, taxes and budgeting. We joke even though he is retired oil and gas it's really just gas—he still slings oil, just the soybean kind! John has one speed; fast, and he never stops! He has four kids and five grandkids, but that list is ever growing. He loves spending time with his family and going to all their activities. When he’s not working, which is hardly ever, he loves hiking, pickleball, kayaking but most of all spending time with his wife, who he hardly gets a break from, so good thing he really loves her!
Warehouse Manager, The Worker Bee
Layla oversees the everyday operations at the warehouse. She’s the one who makes every bottle by hand, and puts every label on. If they are crooked, it’s her fault! She mixes the product and especially enjoys getting garlic powder in her eyelashes—just kidding, that’s the nastiest part of all! She fills every bottle in our warehouse that has no heat or AC, but she never complains. Well, at least not to us anyway. You might see her at the occasional craft show, but she prefers to run the warehouse. When she’s not working being our no. 1 employee, she loves to hang out with her family and friends (in a van down by the river)—just kidding. She loves football, the beach and the mountains. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated employee who loves her job and the smell of garlic.
Courtney is the one Leslie turns to when she can’t figure anything out, so she gets called almost every day! Courtney calms her down, so she is essential to Reed’s. No project is too small for her, and she is always coming up with new ideas to make the website better. She really has her work cut out for her. She enjoys chasing her two young boys around, spending time with her husband and family, escaping to Durango, Colorado and hunting thrifty bargains. We are so happy she is on our team!