Updated 05/07/2012 05:18 PM
Hofmann's to go from regional icon to national brand
The Hofmann Sausage Company has been acquired by a Dallas food group that plans to make it a national, and international, name. Sarah Blazonis tells us what's ahead for the Syracuse company.
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VERONA, N.Y. -- For Syracuse native Frank Zaccanelli, the taste of Hofmann's hot dogs brings back childhood memories.
"I used to go to Heid's with my father and there were two instructions: Don't get any mustard on your shirt and don't spill the chocolate milk," Zaccanelli told a crowd gathered at Turning Stone Resort and Casino Monday.
Years later, Hofmann's is once again a big part of Zaccanelli's life. His company, the Dallas-based Zaccanelli Food Group, recently bought Syracuse's Hofmann Sausage Company in a multimillion dollar deal.
"The only thing that I think will change in Upstate New York will be the fact that the company will have a little bit more visibility," said Zaccanelli, Hofmann's new CEO.
Beginning Memorial Day, customers will be able to find the Hofmann's seal in 67 Albertson's grocery stores in the Dallas area and company officials say it may not be long until the company expands beyond U.S. borders. Talks have begun with a Mexican business to stock Hofmann's south of the border.
A chain of about 50 quick service restaurants is also in development.
Officials wouldn't disclose the amount of the deal, but the Oneida Nation was a lead investor.
"The shared values allow us to create and can allow us to create more economic opportunities in this region, providing a broader and national platform for the many attributes we have in Central New York," said Ray Halbritter, CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises.
And tradition is still a big part of the company. Former president and fifth generation Hofmann family member Rusty Flook will stay on at his family's 133-year-old business.
"I feel it's been quite an accomplishment, especially in the Central New York economy, that we're still here. And with this partnership, I think we have the opportunity to do nothing but grow," said Flook, now the company's Vice Chairman of the Board.
Meaning the company will have a place in the memories of generations to come.
Expansion is expected at Hofmann's Syracuse headquarters, but officials couldn't estimate how many jobs are likely to be added. Right now, the company has 30 employees.