Three owners tell how they built a better life by buying a franchise
Jobs are one of the hottest topics in the US right now. At both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the need to create more work was at the forefront. Fortunately, according to the International Franchise Association, there are jobs in franchising – close to 18 million actually – and there’s opportunity for growth in Kansas. That’s why The HoneyBaked Ham Company is actively seeking potential franchisees in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Wichita areas.
Current HoneyBaked owners come from all corners of the country and all walks of life. But most will say the same things when asked about their success as franchisees. It’s not simply being an owner/operator at HoneyBaked Ham that makes their jobs so satisfying. They say it’s about exciting work, a strong support network, and a great balance of home and family.
When Suze Philizaire started working as a ham wrapper for HoneyBaked Ham, owning her own store wasn’t part of the plan. The Haitian immigrant with a background in catering went to school to become a pharmacist when she decided it was time to make a change. Realizing the long nights and weekend hours at a drug store just weren’t what she wanted, Suze quit working towards her pharmacist license and was hired at a HoneyBaked Ham store. She was soon a supervisor, and learned a lot behind that counter. Over the course of three years she fell in love with the company and her excitement grew about the possibilities HoneyBaked Ham could provide for her and her family.
“I knew I didn’t want to be an employee for someone else for the rest of my life, and I wanted my children to get a good education, so I had to get my priorities in order to make that all happen. Working with HoneyBaked Ham, both as an employee and as a franchisee, gave me more time to be home with my children. I have been able to drop them off at school and football practice, guitar and piano lessons. It’s been hard work, but that’s what it’s all about. You have to work hard to be successful.”
And she is successful. A year and a half ago Suze opened her own HoneyBaked Ham franchise in Weston, Florida. In her first full year as a business owner and operator, she was honored as HoneyBaked Ham’s franchisee Rookie of the Year for overall excellence with her products, customers, growth and more.
Suze says she’s worked hard, but can’t take all the credit for her success – the franchisor support has been there every step of the way for any problems that have come up. She says every time she has called with a question, someone has had a solution for her right away. The first time she opened her doors was for three extremely busy days at Thanksgiving, and four people from franchise support came to Weston to help her make it run smoothly.
“The amazing people with HoneyBaked came to help me haul around hams and get them glazed and get them out the door to new customers. By myself I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but they made it really easy for me. They were there for me.”
Roxie Curtis had been in the ham business almost 20 years when she bought a HoneyBaked Ham franchise in Reston, Virginia. Known as “The Ham Lady” in Northern Virginia, Curtis recently was named Franchisee of the Year. In 2011, out of 184 franchise stores, Roxie’s was among the leaders nationwide in sales, and was recognized for superior product quality.
“I bought this store knowing I would have a great product and all I had to do was sell it. With the HoneyBaked franchise, the brand is so, so strong and has such a good reputation that I truly feel like I’m part of a class act. I’m surrounded by good franchisees and good corporate support. Everything we have is top quality.”
Curtis insists the success of the Reston HoneyBaked Ham isn’t just about her – she says it comes from the backing of the community, reliance on her team, and pure passion.
“It’s the love of the business and the love of the community that keeps me going. For my parents and my daughters to see me be honored for doing something I absolutely love… oh, the tears!… Cinderella does live and she’s in the ham business!”
Denver businesswoman Carole Dunlap had been a franchise owner for more than 10 years when she and her husband decided to give HoneyBaked Ham a try. She operated a successful Molly Maid franchise and was ready to branch out. The couple researched and shopped various franchises for a year before making a decision. Knowing nothing about the food industry, they met with the HoneyBaked franchisor and were impressed. They knew the brand was strong, the company had integrity, the staff was passionate, and franchisees receive support when they need it. The Dunlaps opened their first store in Fort Collins in the spring of 2011, and in October of the same year, opened a second location in Greeley.
Just a year and a half later, the Dunlaps have not only built successful franchises, but they’ve started a strong family business. Both of their sons have gotten involved, and Carole’s sister is now a partner. She and her husband operate the Greeley store.
Carole says for her, this business is everything she could want – it’s easy and exciting, store hours are family-friendly, and there are no late nights. And she feels the holiday rush is thrilling – even with months of preparation, in the end everyone is happy to be there and no one gets upset about waiting in lines.
“One of my sons asked me the other day what I would do if I had enough money that I could pay everything off and have more than enough to live on. I told him I’d stop working so much, but I would never give up HoneyBaked Ham – it’s just too much fun!”
To set up a time to speak with any of the highlighted franchisees, contact Mariesa Stokes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509.703.7158. For more information on franchise opportunities with The HoneyBaked Ham Co., please reach out to Roberta Marcantonio at 678-966-3254 or email@example.com.
The HoneyBaked Ham Company is a privately-held, family-operated business with more than 260 company-owned and 184 franchise locations nationwide. Founded by Harry Hoenselaar in 1957, HoneyBaked still operates under his values-based principles. Franchisees operate specialty food retail stores and fast casual dining locations under the name “The HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Café,” that specialize in the sales of hams, turkeys and other products, and serve sandwiches, salads and more. Currently, franchise opportunities are available in 41 states. To learn more and carve a brighter future, visit HoneyBakedFranchise.com.