Richard K. Ransom, founder of the Toledo, OH-based specialty foods company Hickory Farms, died Monday at the age of 96.

Ransom founded the company in 1951 after he began selling cheeses at local home shows. The company would quickly expand, adding its line of famous sausages, mustards and crackers. Ransom opened first retail store in 1959 and grew the company to 600 locations throughout the US and Canada, primarily in shopping malls, according to the Associated Press.

“He was a retail visionary and an advocate for giving back to the community,” the company said in post shared on its Facebook page. “His care for the customer and passion for providing delicious products that people enjoy sharing is the foundation of what we do today.”