BRIGHTON — A longtime Jerseyville meat packing company now has decided the Brighton area is “prime” for expansion.
Hansen Packing Co., owned by brother-and-sister team Ryan Hansen and Beth Arrowsmith, has acquired ownership of H&B Ham Co., 202 W. Plum St. in Brighton.
“We were really happy to have the opportunity,” Hansen Packing President Ryan Hansen said.
Hansen Packing bought H&B from the father-and-son team Ron and Randy Burns on Dec. 5. Hansen says the two companies have worked together often in the past.
“We always sold a lot of H&B products out of our packing corporation,” he says.
Former owner Ron Burns says H&B’s founders (his father, “Shorty” Burns, and his wife) rented a building from Ryan’s grandfather Bill (the founder of Hansen Packing) after their smokehouse caught fire. He says a common misconception is that Hansen was involved in the foundation and ownership of H&B Ham.
“Hansen Packing had nothing to do with the starting of H&B,” he said. “(We rented the building from them), but the Hansens didn’t know about the curing and smoking of the meat.”
Ryan Hansen clarified although the “H” in H&B did stand for Hansen, his family was not involved in the ownership of the company, and the initial most likely was added as a courtesy for his grandfather’s administrative assistance and help in acquiring a meat processing establishment number.
According to Hansen, H&B has many positive aspects one looks for in a business, including a solid customer base and a brand loyalty to the products and recipes used by H&B, adding that for many, it’s “H&B hams or nothing.”
For the Hansen leadership, this was “the final piece of the puzzle, a good and high-quality product.”
Hansen Packing began in 1952 with Ryan Hansen’s grandfather, Bill. In 2000, Ryan’s father, David, took over, and as of July 2014 the company is in the hands of its third generation. Ryan has worked in the business since high school.
“It’s always been a part of my life,” he said. “Working in a family business gives you ample time with family and yet allows you to add your personal stamp to your work.”
The company is working hard to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and future goals are lofty and ambitious.
“First and foremost, (we are) making sure any order with H&B is filled to completion,” Hansen said. “We have big plans for H&B; we want to make it a product that is nationally known. We want to take an amazing product and make more of it.”
Future plans also include expansion of web functionality and interaction, including online orders and home shipping, but Hansen says they will not make the mistake of changing the already-famous products from H&B Ham. His ultimate goal is to make them more available to customers.
“We want to take an amazing product and make more of it,” Hansen said.
For more information, call (618) 498-3714 or visit the website at www.hansenpackingmeats.com.