Iowa Companies Join In To Support Iowa’s Newest Namesake Submarine

Posted By: Cookies Sauces & Seasonings / May 23, 2023 / Category: News

Funds being raised to support commissioning for USS IOWA SSN 797

(Wall Lake, IA) Cookies Food Products has teamed up with Big Grove Brewery and the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) in support of the USS Iowa SSN 797 christening, a soon-to-be commissioned nuclear submarine for the U.S. Navy. While this vessel will be the fourth U.S. NAVY ship named after the state of Iowa, the SSN 797 will be the first submarine to bear the state’s name and the first to have dedicated quarters for both women and men.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend through the Fourth of July, Iowans will find “Iowa’s Backyard Beer & BBQ” displays in stores across the state. All three companies will be providing support, or contributing a portion of sales through the Backyard BBQ program, to the SSN 797 Commissioning Committee. Big Grove donated $5,000 to the effort from proceeds of beer sales last summer and invited Cookies and IPPA to help kick-off summer Iowa-style in an effort to raise greater awareness.

“It’s a privilege to partner with these great Iowa companies in support of a vessel that honors our great state and as a Navy veteran, I find this collaborative effort especially meaningful,” said Speed Herrig, President of Cookies Food Products. “Together with Big Grove & Iowa Pork, we are encouraging others to celebrate those who protect our freedoms at their backyard barbecues this summer.”

Tom Hudson is a NAVY Retired Chief Petty Officer and serves as one of the Executive Directors of the Committee. “We’re grateful to have support from Iowa-based organizations like these,” Hudson noted. “It’s exciting to help us show what Iowa is all about to the 130 dedicated service men and women and their families. On the world’s stage, it’s about connecting people to a submarine that will bear the pride of Iowa for the next thirty plus years.”

The Iowa-based Commissioning Committee has set a fundraising goal of $500,000 for upgraded features to ship habitability recreation and dining equipment. Remaining funds will be used for crew activities and celebration events featuring Iowa products. The Christening is scheduled for June 17th in historical Groton, CT,  known as the Submarine Capital of the World.

Customers who purchase these companies’ products anywhere in the state of Iowa now through July 5, 2023 will be part of something special for Iowa’s sailors and US Navy Veterans. Big Grove will soon be announcing plans for commissioning event watch parties along with other summer activities in support of the commissioning.


About Big Grove Brewery: Big Grove Brewery is among the top craft beer producers in Iowa and ranks in the top 3% for barrel production nationally. In 2013, the brewery got its start as a 3.5-barrel brewhouse in Solon, Iowa and focused on freshly made craft beer and elevated pub cuisine. Four years later, the brewery opened a 28,000 square foot production facility, serving as an anchor for the Iowa City Riverfront Crossings redevelopment project. Big Grove has received multiple craft brewing medals including a gold medal for Easy Eddy, its flagship Hazy IPA.

About Cookies: Cookies Food Products is a family-operated and veteran-owned food production company operated out of a 125,000 square foot facility in Wall Lake, IA. Recognized as one of the largest regional sauce manufacturers in the country, Cookies has been in business for over 45 years and currently has distribution in over 30 states. Beyond store shelves, Cookies sauces are also utilized by  a number of foodservice providers, catering companies and food manufacturing facilities around the U.S.

About Iowa Pork Producers Association: IPPA serves as a unified voice for Iowa’s pork producers. It is a grassroots organization that consists of approximately 70 structured county associations across the state, with more than 4,000 affiliated and associate members. Every producer, regardless of size, has a voice in IPPA through a county-elected delegate system. Iowa is the number one state in the U.S. for pork production.