Honey-B Ham Celebrate the Holidays with a Feast!
During the holiday season, family and friends gather around festive dinner tables laden with glazed ham, roast turkey, and all those traditional side dishes we all look forward to this time of year. Honey-B Ham and Deli, a Lake Charles institution since 1996, is often a major part of that Norman Rockwell-like scene.
Franchise owner Joe Heinen sells thousands of hams and turkeys, both to individual families for their holiday meals and business owners who give them as gifts to clients and employees. “I do 85 percent of my yearly business in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Heinen says.
It’s All About the Ham
As a businessman, Heinen knows the importance of diversifying his menu, but the truth is, he loves selling hams! “Ham is what brings us to the dance, he says. ” It is by far his biggest seller and his own personal favorite. He believes in the quality of his product 100 percent and takes pride in the business he has built and his reputation for having a quality product.
Honey-B Hams are hickory-smoked, spiral-sliced for convenient serving, and baked with a thick rich honey-spiced glaze. In addition to the great taste, Heinen loves ham for its versatility. If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers after your holiday meal, you can snack on ham later that evening, make ham and cheese omelets the next morning for breakfast, ham sandwiches for lunch, and ham salad spread for more sandwiches later in the week. Freeze the rest in Ziploc bags for future meals. And make soup from the ham bone. There’s no waste.
Beyond the Ham
It’s hard for Heinen to imagine, but he realizes not everyone enjoys ham as much as he does. But he keeps those customers happy and satisfied, too. Honey-B Ham offers smoked or Cajun whole turkeys and spiral sliced honey-glazed turkey breast. His barbeque smoked brisket is slow-cooked for 16 hours. He also sells sandwich trays along with meat and cheese trays. Side dishes include sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, cheese broccoli rice, green bean casserole, turkey gravy, and cranberry relish. For tempting desserts, there are pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies.
From Heinen’s Farm to You
If Heinen sells hams and turkeys during the holiday season, what does he sell the rest of the year? “Crawfish!” he said enthusiastically. Heinen owns and manages a successful crawfish farm from his home north of Jennings. He offers fresh crawfish live or boiled during the spring and winter crawfish seasons and he loves to cater crawfish boils.
New on the Menu
Heinen strives to keep his business fresh by occasionally offering new menu items. Lately, he’s been thinking about the predicted influx of families and workers to the area, especially the industrial and construction workers. “They are big eaters,” he said. “They’re not interested in eating a grilled chicken sandwich with light dressing on the side. They want meat and potatoes and Budweiser.” Heinen has also considered the potential increase in the number of tourists to the lake area, with a new casino opening. “Visitors want to get a taste of Cajun culture,” he says. For these reasons, Heinen recently added boudin, boudin balls, and cracklins to his menu. Another new concept on the menu — an idea which could have come straight from a carnival food vendor, but who can resist it – deep fried brisket sandwich!
Stop in For Lunch
For an affordable alternative to fast food, visit Honey-B Ham for lunch or pick-up dinner on your way home from work. The Honey-B Ham store welcomes patrons with a warm feeling that makes you feel like family. Heinen and his staff know their regulars by name and often anticipate their orders before the customers get to the counter. At the entrance, a case of homemade fudge in several flavors draws your eyes and tempts your taste buds. But eat your meal first! Choose from brisket and/or sausage plate lunches and a large variety of deli sandwiches, soups, and salads. They offer gumbo every Wednesday, year around, and they’re open on Sundays for barbeque.
Large Groups, No Problem
Heinen expects catering businesses to grow as other businesses in the area expand. Honey-B Ham offers full-service, self-contained mobile catering services. He specializes in business catering, providing meals for holiday parties, company lunches, conferences, and crawfish boils. Choose from his traditional main courses and sides, or opt for his popular deli sandwich trays, meat and cheese trays, or box lunches. He is also available for disaster relief catering. Tell Joe Heinen what you need and he’ll do his best to accommodate your catering plans.
Good Food That’s Good for You
Many consumers these days are health conscious and desire to eat more healthy foods. Honey-B Ham has been certified by Christus Hospital in Beaumont as being lower in sodium than other commercial hams. If you are cutting back on sugar, you can opt to get the ham unglazed. If you want a turkey, choose roasted rather than fried. Healthy eating can still taste good!
Passing on a Legacy
Eating healthy may be a bit more of a concern for Heinen lately. Near the end of October, he underwent open heart surgery. Barely out of the hospital a week, he was already back in the store, working at his desk and managing his staff and incoming orders. After all, this is the “busy season.” Now 60 years old, he’s been slowly giving more operational duties to his sons-in-law. But being “hands-on” is his nature.
Sharing with Local Charities
What happens to restaurant food that is still good to eat, but is not sellable? For example, Heinen says he simply cannot sell a sweet potato casserole after the holidays. But there may still be some in his freezer. Heinen donates overstocked food to local charities: Abraham’s Tent, the Potter’s House, and the Salvation Army. “That’s my way of helping the community,” he says.
Keepin’ It Simple
Heinen knows his business well and he knows what his customers want. He likes to “keep it simple” by limiting his menu to ensure he makes the highest quality product. “If you want the best ham, turkey, or crawfish, I got it. We have a money-back guarantee,” he says with confidence.
He notes that the key to a successful restaurant business is consistency. “I can’t be everything to everybody. I just have to be consistently good.” Considering his 18 years in business and his loyal following of customers, that is evidence of his success and consistency.
He also wants his clients to keep it simple. “Take Mom out of the kitchen and let us do the cooking for you!” Call Honey-B Ham today or place your order online.
Honey-B Ham is located at 506 E. Prien Lake Rd. open Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For more information, call (337) 478-3354; check out the website at http://www.honeybham.net, or find them on Facebook.
By Angie Kay Dilmore