SHEBOYGAN FALLS, WIS. – Johnsonville LLC has purchased Hinesburg, Vt.-based Vermont Smoke & Cure. The privately held company will operate as a part of Johnsonville but will maintain its brand, leadership team and operations in Vermont.

“We see this as a great marriage of complementary capabilities and culture/values,” said Nick Meriggioli, chief executive office of Johnsonville. “We’re looking forward to sharing our 75 years of sausage-making expertise, scale and resources to grow Vermont Smoke & Cure’s existing footprint.”

Vermont Smoke & Cure started in 1962 in South Barre, Vt. The company produces dozens of hand-crafted meat snacks including pork, beef, poultry and grass-fed beef snack sticks, bulk pepperoni and summer sausage.

“The attraction of Johnsonville arises from our mutual focus on quality proteins and ingredients, along with providing excellent customer and consumer experiences,” said Tara Murphy, president of Vermont Smoke & Cure.

Murphy will continue to lead the company out of its Hinesburg location, where it employs around 45 people.

In 2006, Vermont Smoke & Cure rebranded itself and committed to implementing more modern processing techniques and focused on better ingredients and using ethically raised meats. In 2012, the company moved to it Hinesburg location and expanded its smokehouse capacity by four times. Its entire portfolio of meat-snack products are now produced free from MSG, artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and the Big 8 allergens (milk, eggs, gluten, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and soy).