HoneyBaked Ham popular during holidays


Gazebo Photo by Rac

Rachel Toon’s parents own Honey Baked Ham in Macon, which draws big crowds during Thanksgiving and Christmas

Imagine working at a store that has a line out the door ALL DAY.

It can be very stressful. But, the amount of money made throughout the holiday is eye-opening. 

My parents, Barry and April Toon, own six HoneyBaked Ham stores – four in Georgia and two in Tennessee. Between all six stores, the total sales for Thanksgiving week and the week before were about $1.4 million. 

That’s a lot of ham.

Just by being in the Warner Robins store over Thanksgiving, Tuesday was the busiest day. Many people make reservations for Tuesday because they think Wednesday would be the busiest day.

 This makes Wednesday not as bad as people think it is. Just on Tuesday, there were around 3,000 credit cards swiped.

A typical day during the holiday season looks like waking up at 6:30 am and having instant stress ad anxiety.

 “As I’m getting ready for work, my phone starts blowing up with the stores calling me,’’ Mrs. April Toon said.  Scales not printing labels, staff not showing up, someone wants to make a reservation for the same day, etc.’’

As soon as the stores open at 9 a.m during the holidays, a line is quickly made and wrapped around the building. While we are short-staffed, the staff that is there is running around trying to help everyone as quickly as possible. 

This happens because the store phones are busy, the production team is glazing as fast as they can, someone is angry that we cannot sell the glaze by itself, or the POS system is freaking out. 

Soon enough, 3:00 pm comes around and no one has gone to the restroom or had a chance to eat. Soon enough we close and we now need to check reservations for the next day, count product to glaze for the next day, and count drawers. 

“The hardest part about owning the store is having six of them. Holidays are our busiest time of year, and I cannot be in six places at one time” April Toon said.

She said she  “works an absurd amount of hours during November and December, and I don’t get much of a of a chance to appreciate the holiday season. It’s our ‘Super Bowl’. So work kind of takes place of everything else and I miss out on a lot of time with my family.”

 Knowing what to order for each holiday can also be difficult. We start planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas in August, ordering things for all six stores. We do not have an exact number of how much to order, we go off the numbers from the year prior. Our goal is to come out of the holiday with enough hams and turkeys but not a lot of extra.. April Toon idsaid t “Christmas is definitely busier. Thanksgiving is a ‘warm up’ for Christmas.”.Both holidays are very busy and have people standing outside all day. The line often wraps around the side of the building.

As complicated and as stressed as it can be, we get the job done and everything comes out smoothly with little stress at the end.