HoneyBaked cooking up plans for Council Bluffs store

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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:00 am

A honey of a business may be coming to Council Bluffs.

The HoneyBaked Ham Co. would like to open a store in Council Bluffs and is looking for a franchisee. It has set a goal of opening a business in the Council Bluffs area by the end of the year and 10 stores in Iowa during the next two years.

“We don't have anything in Iowa, so we've been trying to strongly target Iowa,” said Melissa McFarlin, director of franchise development. “Council Bluffs does seem like a natural progression, because we have a location over in Omaha, and we'd like to build on that. We do have customers in Council Bluffs who drive over to the Omaha store.”

The Omaha store is at 16902 Wright Plaza, Suite 165.

HoneyBaked Ham is best known for its spiral bone-in hams with crunchy sweet glaze. Stores are usually 1,600 to 2,500 square feet and include a cafe and catering business, McFarlin said. They generally employ about 10 people year-round and add 25 to 30 seasonal employees during the holidays. Most franchise operators lease space in a shopping center or mall.

Products include spiral ham, boneless ham, glazed turkey breast, roast beef and pork, bacon, ribs, frozen sides (macaroni and cheese, potatoes au gratin, sweet potato souffle, etc.), salads and desserts. The catering service offers a sandwich buffet with meat, vegetable and fruit trays with salads and desserts or box lunches with sandwich, salad, chips and cookie or brownie.

HoneyBaked Ham was founded in 1957 by Harry J. Hoenselaar, who used a secret marinade to cure the ham, smoked it up to 24 hours over a blend of hardwood chips and coated it with a crunchy sweet glaze. It was Hoenselaar who invented and patented a machine that could cut a ham in a single, continuous spiral. Three generations later, the family is carrying on the tradition. The HoneyBaked Ham Co. now has 450 stores in 40 states, with 186 franchise locations and the rest corporate.

For information on franchise opportunities, visit honeybakedfranchise.com.

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