Today, April 15th,  is National Glazed Spiral Ham Day.

Celebrate by purchasing an award winning glazed spiral ham from the “Honey Baked Ham Company” the originator of the spiraled ham and that has over 400 stores nationwide.  Here is a link to help you find a store near you.



Did you know the spiral ham was conceived and made popular nationwide  at  The Honey Baked Ham Company?  In 1957 , Harry J. Hoenselaar opened the first Honey Baked Ham Company  retail store in Michigan. Here is a history of the company in timeline form.

History  and Timeline of the “The Honey Baked Ham Company”


Harry John Hoenselaar  is born on Mar. 24 in Cheboygan, Michigan.


Harry is hired by William Hubernet, the owner of a meat company named  “The Honey Baked Ham Company.

One of Harry’s duties is to properly hand slice ham from the bone for customers.

Harry builds a prototype of a spiral  slicing machine using a tire jack, pie tins, a washing machine motor, and a knife and continues to refine it over the next eight years.


Harry demonstrates an early version of his invention at the 1939 New York World’s Fair in New York City.


Harry files for his first patent and then tried to sell his machines to other meat companies but no one  inteisrested.  (Patent US2470078 A,  Apparatus for slicing ham on the bone filed   Sept 7, 1944)


After William Hubernet dies, his widow, calls Harry and offers to sell the company to Harry for $500.  Harry takes out a mortgage out on his home and purchases “The Honey Baked Ham Company”

In October, Harry opens the first retail store location of the “The Honey Baked Ham Company”.


Jo Ann, one of Harry’s four daughters and  her husband  George Kurz open a second store in Parma, Ohio.



Harry John Hoenselaar  dies on Jul. 7, 1974 in Broward County Florida and is buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township, Michigan



With  30 stores and with the expiration of the patent for the process to create the “spiraled ham”, the Kurtz’s  expand the company rapidly  in order to create a competitive advantage by establishing “The Honey Baked Ham Company” as a dominant brand.


The company has 170 stores nationwide


The Honey Baked Ham Company acquires Heavenly Ham,  the second largest specialty ham retailer, that has over 200 stores.


The company currently employs over 250 people here year-round and operates over 400 stores that include both company owned stores and franchise