Teamwork To Pay Dividends In Cedar Rapids

HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Café and Bruster's Real Ice Cream to Co-Develop Franchise Locations

June 10, 2009 // Franchising.com // Cedar Rapids, IA – When executives from HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Café, the nation's leading legendary specialty food retail franchise, and Bruster's Real Ice Cream, the country's premium ice cream retail franchise, met for the first time, both brands instantly knew they were on the brink of something big – an opportunity for new and existing franchisees to take two seasonal businesses and generate a year round revenue stream.

"This is a tremendous new franchise offering for the right owner in Cedar Rapids. This co-development allows franchisees to operate two businesses out of one location, thus better utilizing real estate while maximizing sales potential," said Ken Caldwell, Vice-President of Retail and Franchise Operations for HoneyBaked. "Those who take advantage of the opportunity have the chance to generate higher revenue through a multi-concept operation. It just makes sense."

Caldwell also said that finding a brand that aligned with values and products was important for the co-development initiative. "We looked long and hard to find a partner that would complement our business in terms of seasonality and brand," he said. "If you look at their products and match them to ours, the level of quality lines up. Our seasonality is polar opposite with catering opportunities complementing each other nicely."

"Bruster's is thrilled to partner with HoneyBaked Ham," said Jim Sahene, CEO of Bruster's. "Both of our brands focus on customer satisfaction, and offer the best products in their categories. We anticipate a great experience."

As the executives began drawing possibilities, everything aligned. Together HoneyBaked and Bruster's generated a plan to offer a co-developed business opportunity for a single franchisee with multiple benefits, including two franchises for a lower franchise fee; a shared back of the house with shared equipment; higher year round revenue and income opportunities; and a double feature of two signature brands for the community.

"A big benefit of the co-developing is that the high cost of operating two separate brands diminishes," added Sahene. "A typical Bruster's location is 1,200 sq feet and a HoneyBaked is 1,800. The co-developed location will only be approximately 2,400 sq feet, which equates to enormous rent savings. Additionally, both brands can maximize staffing. With HoneyBaked's hours being limited and Bruster's staying open late – franchisees can hire an employee who works the 1-4 p.m. shift at HoneyBaked and then the 6-9 p.m. Bruster's shift. Costs diminish while revenue turns from seasonal to year round."

The HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Café is famous for its fully prepared, spiral-sliced, tender HoneyBaked hams, popular for decades of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter seasons. HoneyBaked also offers a wide variety of signature sandwiches, salads, soups and side dishes that can be enjoyed for lunch in the comfortable café setting, or delivered to businesses and other group events in boxed lunches, platters and buffets.

Bruster's philosophy is very simple. It believes that ice cream is one of life's great, simple pleasures that can be shared with family and friends of all ages. Store owners and managers share in that philosophy and commit to providing only the highest quality products and service to its customers. At Bruster's, giving back to the communities that support it is as much a part of its daily operations as making ice cream.

About The HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Café

Founded with its first store in 1957 in Detroit, Mich., HoneyBaked has grown to become the most recognizable and trusted brand in America in the specialty food retail category. Today, more than 400 HoneyBaked stores operate nationwide, with plans to open HoneyBaked Ham Co. and Café locations in more than 100 new markets through franchise expansion in selective towns around the country. In addition to sales of its famous spiral-sliced, tender HoneyBaked hams and other quality special meats for holidays and everyday occasions, HoneyBaked franchise stores also offer a Café menu, business catering, and corporate gifting.

About Bruster's

Based in Bridgewater, Pa., Bruster's Real Ice Cream is ranked as one of the Country's leading franchise chains with more than 260 locations in 18 northeastern, mid-Atlantic and southeastern states. Bruster's has over 140 recipes of real ice cream – with nearly 40 fresh flavors available at any one time. Delicious products are made on-site, and include: sorbet, Italian Ice, milk shakes, parfaits, sundaes, and ice cream cakes and pies. Flavors vary by store and include seasonal product favorites, such as strawberry shortcake and hot apple dumpling.

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