For Kimberly Bowling ’96, every day at the office is a family affair and more than likely includes a conversation surrounding a sticky, sweet substance Americans love to eat with pancakes and waffles. Anyone who grew up around Northwest Alabama in the last century remembers Golden Eagle Table Syrup as a family staple.
“Tradition,” Kimberly and Temple Bowling ‘94 said in unison when describing the syrup company that has been in business in Kimberly Bowling’s hometown in Fayette County since 1929.
“It’s a really small company, but it has longevity,” Kimberly Bowling said. “We bought it so that it wouldn’t get swallowed up by some corporate company that would turn it into something that it wasn’t and do away with its original roots.”
Kimberly and Temple Bowling met at an Auburn football game and have been together ever since. They moved back to Kimberly’s home in Fayette County to be closer to family and Golden Eagle was for sale.
“Golden Eagle was always around in my life. It was always on my grandfather’s table,” Kimberly said.
Temple added, “The building we are in is the same building that it’s been in since 1945. The old copper cooker from the 1950s is still there. That’s one of the reasons we bought it, the nostalgia of the place itself.”
With three kids, a syrup company and a construction company to run, the Bowlings are one busy family. Temple still works full time so Kimberly is now the leading lady at Golden Eagle.
“He just kind of handed me the keys and said, ‘Hey, here’s the syrup company,’ ” Kimberly laughed. “I didn’t know anything about running a business or making syrup, but I learned quickly.”
Golden Eagle got its name from founder Victor Patterson, who named his syrup company after an eagle because it flies the highest of any bird, symbolic of the highest quality, and golden after the color of the syrup.
“The Pattersons lived on the fact that Golden Eagle was family owned and operated, and it was. So when we bought it we made sure we are still family owned and operated,” Kimberly said. “Right now it’s summer, and all three of my kids work at Golden Eagle; my dad is 82 and he works the syrup line with me on the days we run syrup, so it is still very family oriented.”
“We use the same recipes, the same cooker,” Temple said. “Everything about it is based on tradition.”