By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Restaurants | Issue: November 2018
Lee Griffin Owner, Honey Baked Ham Company in Tulsa
There seems to be a misconception about honey glazed hams. HoneyBaked Ham® is the only company that creates and sells HoneyBaked Hams. Period. Harry J. Hoenselaar invented the spiral ham slicer in 1938, got a patent on it and tried to sell it in the ‘40s. Much to his chagrin, he could not generate interest in his invention. It’s said that people simply laughed and said, “Next time you’re going to be trying to sell us bottled water! “Disappointed, but not discouraged, Harry founded The HoneyBaked Ham Company in 1957. Today it is a premium food retailer with more than 400 stores nationwide and is currently in its third generation of values-driven, family ownership.
HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Cafe in Tulsa celebrated their opening in 2003 and Lee Griffin became the Owner/Operator in 2010. The Tulsa store serves families, businesses and organizations throughout the Tulsa Metro. Lee says, “Our mission is to celebrate life one meal at a time.
“The Company’s hams, turkeys and other specialty products are favorites across the country as superior holiday and special occasion choices and our customers choose from packaged product offerings or make their own selections for custom packages for family, friends and business associates.”
Lee says HoneyBaked’s 2014 Brand Health Tracker showed that Honey Baked remains the most preferred ham brand and ranks highest for perceived quality among other ham brands. “We work hard to promote and maintain an environmentally-friendly model throughout the supply chain and wherever we do business,” he adds.
HoneyBaked Hams has three facilities in the US that buy hogs from approved farmers in the Midwestern United States. These three facilities make Honey Baked Hams and that’s all they do, adding quality and consistency to every product produced. Each Ham is hand-selected for leanness from premium grain-fed stock and each undergoes a 16-point inspection checklist. On average, for every ten hams inspected, only one is selected.
“Our hams are slow-cooked for 20-24 hours—two to three times longer than our competitors’ hams— using a unique blend of hardwood chips. They are then spiral-sliced to the bone so each tender, juicy slice is easy to serve. Honey Baked Hams are cured without adding extra water or juices,” says Lee. “A ham typically loses 10% in liquids during the cooking process and that’s all we add back into our hams before cooking to ensure that each cure is evenly distributed throughout our hams. We’ve found that most producers add up to 30% more liquid weight prior to cooking making their hams actually weigh more after cooking than they did before.
Once sliced, each ham is individually hand-glazed within 24 hours by an expert master glazer who slowly adds layers of spices and pure cane sugar with a masterful touch. This creates the HoneyBaked signature of a sweet, crunchy glaze. Following glazing, each ham undergoes another 16-point inspection prior to approval for sale. A ham expert wraps each ham in the signature gold foil. “And Honey Baked Hams are never frozen,” adds Lee.
The company is committed to procuring ham and turkey products using animals raised in North America and they insist on their proper handling and humane treatment. “HoneyBaked Ham products contain no added hormones and steroids. Only the finest, highest-quality ingredients are used to ensure adherence to the best-in-class food safety standards and we are proud that our delicious ham and turkey products are gluten-free,” declared Lee.
Ingredients are printed on each product’s label and hams are always available. Each ham or turkey product is unwrapped and shown to the customer prior to purchase and systems are in place to get you in and out in 15 minutes or less…even during the holidays.
Quality assurance personnel are always onsite at the company’s processing plants. These plants and all retail stores also have frequent surprise audits and inspections ensuring quality standards and food safety.
You can go online to view HoneyBaked Ham’s lunch and dinner menus plus other products and special services. The holidays will be here before we know it and Lee encourages you to place your order as early as possible to make sure you get the size ham needed for your specific agenda.
Duane Blankenship has spent his professional career in advertising and enjoyed nearly 30 years of employment with Cities Service Oil Company, Lowrance Electronics, and Zebco. He has been self-employed for nearly 20 years, producing advertising projects for clients in northeastern Oklahoma and from Washington State to Florida. His hobbies over the years have included multiple sports, hunting and fishing, boating, bicycling, horses and creating fine art pencil drawings. Duane has written nearly 800 business-related stories for Value News since 2005. He has an outgoing personality, enjoys meeting people and making new friends. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married 48 years. Both claim to be semi-retired, but enjoy remaining "plugged in" to their respective professions. They are both active in their community and church.
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