The HoneyBaked Ham Company and Cafe is owned and operated by Mark and Kailyn Hudson. They began working on their business idea in April 2011, and the Hudson’s store opened on December 12, 2011. The 3,000 square foot site is located where a former HoneyBaked Ham franchise was located, at 1446 North Green River Road, Evansville, Indiana.
Last fall Mark, a former bank executive, was considering a new career, when the idea of opening The HoneyBaked Ham Company and Café occurred to him. Although he had no previous restaurant experience, he was familiar with HoneyBaked Ham products and loved their uniquely smoked meat products. Mark and Kailyn want their customers to think of their store as a restaurant rather than just for take-out or catering. Therefore, they are the first HoneyBaked Ham store in the country to offer a daily salad bar. The HoneyBaked Ham salad bar will feature their famous ham and turkey, ham and turkey salads, and other fresh items, and is an opportunity for customers to taste test their products.In addition, their HoneyBaked Ham store will be one of the few in the country to offer gourmet coffees, chocolates and nuts that will be pre-packaged for gifts.
From Mark’s banking experience, he knew the importance of having a well defined business plan so, taking the advice of a former banking colleague, he contacted Pete Sabella at the Southwest ISBDC for assistance. During the past ten months, Pete and Mark worked together to fine-tune the company’s operating plan and prepare financial projections for store renovations and start-up expenses. “I was not aware that there was such great resource available at no cost for a new business owner”, said Mark. “Pete’s assistance and guidance was valuable, especially when it came to getting the most out of using QuickBooks!”
Mark’s advice for other entrepreneurs is: “Whatever you think it is going to cost to open and operate your business, multiple it by two! The income is always less than what you predict and the expenses are twice as much.” Also, Mark recommended that small business owners develop a marketing plan that includes social media. He stated, “Don’t try to do everything at once. Instead choose a couple of options and do them well rather than trying to do it all and not doing it very well.”
For more information, visit The Honeybaked Ham Company and Cafe website.