The Leonard Holding Company is a third-generation, family-owned business. To fully understand Leonard Holding Company, you have to start at the beginning.
Al Leonard grew up in the rural community of Roscoe, Texas, in a family of cotton farmers. After graduating high school and working his way up in a meatpacking company, Al Leonard and a fellow employee Dwayne Harral decided to venture out on their own. In 1963 they both sold their homes, downgraded their cars, and raised $21,000 to start the business. They formed a partnership and started the L&H Packing Company in 1966. Al Leonard set up an office in the small home where he moved his family. His three children tell the story of constant phone calls, unloading rail cars late into the night, and “pinching every penny more than once.” After approaching numerous banks, Al Leonard’s last chance was at Texas State Bank. Meeting the bank president, he explained his need for a loan to build a plant for their company. Mr. Williams, the bank president, was quoted as saying in true Texas fashion, “Al, I learned a long time ago that you have to feed the pups because someday they will be big dogs.” That was a turning point, Al Leonard secured the loan of $10,000 to build their meatpacking plant.
After buying land on the south side of San Antonio and building a plant, the business began to thrive. Their plan of 100 cows per day quickly became 350 per day. Very approachable and genuinely interested in people, Al Leonard treated everyone from “prince to peasant” exactly the same way and was known for striking up a conversation everywhere he went. He believed in always keeping his word and treating people, especially employees, well. He involved his three children, Ken, Sharen, and Terry, in the business and had them help in different capacities. Al Leonard passed down the business to his son Ken Leonard along with his work ethic and integrity. After the third generation worked in the company for years, many of them took up leadership roles in the company. Neal Leonard is the CEO of the holding company while his brother Clayton Leonard was the president of New Earth for 20 years, and his cousin Daryl Scott is President of Surlean Foods.
Established in 1994, the Leonard Holding Company is proud to serve its subsidiaries with the same integrity and dedication as Al Leonard did, in 1966.