Local HoneyBaked Ham Cafe ready for Easter rush
As bay area families plan their menus for this year’s Easter feast, the Corpus Christi HoneyBaked Ham Cafe, 1502 Airline Drive, prepares for one of its busiest times of the year.
Christmas remains the biggest holiday for HoneyBaked’s juicy, sweet spiral hams and turkey breasts, but Easter is a close second, owner Les Pierce said. He expects to sell close to 500 fully cooked, professionally glazed, spiral-cut half hams this month. For Pierce, this means about 500 families will be enjoying a special dinner together for Easter.
“At HoneyBaked, our motto is ‘celebrating life, one meal at a time,’ so we try to do it all for you,” Pierce told Corpus Christi Business News. “That way, mom isn’t living in the kitchen with cooking and clean-up. The whole family can spend time together, making memories around the dinner table.”
HoneyBaked offers a full menu of deli sides and heat-and-serve side dishes as well as desserts. But the big headliner, or the real ham of the show, remains the spiral-cut HoneyBaked ham.
“We take great pride in the quality of our hams,” Piece boasted.
From the farmers who provide the hams to how the hams are transported and handled at locations, HoneyBaked has strict guidelines and procedures that must be followed to meet the HoneyBaked standards, he explained.
"Our hams are slow-smoked for 20 to 24 hours with a custom blend of hardwood chips, and our hams have little to no water weight,” Pierce continued. “Our hams and turkey breasts are glazed by trained master glazers. We take care with every single step in the process.”
Even the way the ham is wrapped in foil is designed to have real a “wow” factor, he said.
“When people see their spiral hams with the sweet crunchy glaze, I want to hear them say, ‘Wow! I can’t wait to dive into that ham,’” he said.
Pierce moved to Corpus Christi eight years ago to open a HoneyBaked Ham franchise. He chose the Coastal Bend to set up shop because he liked the area and thought it had the right demographic to support the business. After all these years, he is still excited about the products he provides for his customers and being a part of the HoneyBaked brand.
"When I was growing up just south of Houston, our holiday celebrations centered around our HoneyBaked Ham meal,” he said. “It was a big deal to get in the car and drive into Houston and wait in the lines for our ham, then bring it home to a big family dinner. I like the idea of being a part of that special experience for families here in the Corpus Christi area.”
The HoneyBaked Ham menu of today extends far beyond special-occasion meals. Pierce runs a deli-style, dine-in restaurant with a selection of sandwiches and a variety of entrées, appetizers, sides and desserts. The restaurant is open seven days a week, offering catering and delivery services.
“We are also trying to help busy families during their hectic work and school week,” Pierce said. “We have a Dinners To-Go option for a complete, fresh dinner that requires no cooking and even less clean-up, but [our meals] are nutritious. Our meats are not processed. The same quality that goes into our HoneyBaked Hams goes into the rest our menu.”
With the success of this location, Pierce is now considering a second location in the Portland area.
“We are looking to grow,” he said. “With the growth of the area, the timing seems right.”
A little slice of American history
The process of the spiral slicing of the ham was developed and patented more than 50 years ago by the founder of HoneyBaked Hams, Harry J. Hoenselaar.
HoneyBaked Ham of Corpus Christi
1502 Airline Drive (361) 991-4424
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
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