Super Foodtown Co-President Noah Katz and HoneyBaked Ham owner Romles Gibbs teamed up to promote HoneyBaked Ham on social media.

Friday night is usually one of the busiest times of the week for eateries. Yet, on Friday, January 19, HoneyBaked Ham, the new Bedford Stuyvesant branch of a beloved Midwestern and Southern franchise, sat nearly empty.

The low foot traffic on this night was disappointing but not unusual for the stores owner, Romles Gibbs. According to Gibbs, the store on Fulton Street hadnt seen much business since its opening in September 2017. Giving the brands popularity in the Midwest and the South, Gibbs wondered what was keeping Brooklynites away?

But that night, curiosity led one person through HoneyBaked’s doors: Super Foodtown Co-President Noah Katz.

Katz was on his way home from his Super Foodtown store, but being that his car was parked in front of the HoneyBaked Ham store, he decided to pay a visit. Speaking with a cashier, Katz learned that the stores owner was around and the two struck up a conversation, from one entrepreneur to another, as Katz said. Gibbs told him about the stores surprising lack of patronage, and Katz, who also serves as the treasurer for the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District, offered the BIDs marketing assistance.

The BID can help you with a plan, Katz said to Gibbs. But why not start right now?

He suggested they create a promotional video on the spot.

He whipped his phone and his stick right out of his bag, recalled Gibbs. In fact, if you look at the video youll see I still have the hat ring from the hat on my head.

Honey Baked Ham store in Bed Stuy sits nearly empty at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday night.
Honey BakedHam store in Bed-Stuy sits nearly empty on a Friday night.

In the nearly seven-minute-long video, Katz and Gibbs pitched HoneyBaked Ham to the people of Bed-Stuy. Gibbs, a lifelong Bed-Stuy resident, introduced himself to the neighborhood and talked about the companys reputation of having the worlds best ham, even offering visitors free samples of ham and turkey. The video ended with Katz reminding viewers to shop local and, most importantly, to share the video. Lets make this go viral, Katz signed off.

Honey Baked Ham owner Romles Gibbs is a Bed Stuy native trying to share a taste of the South with the neighborhood.
Honey BakedHam owner Romles Gibbs, a native of Bed-Stuy native, is trying to share a taste of the South with the neighborhood.

While the video hasnt gone viral yet, it has nonetheless picked up a respectable 9,000 views and 208 shares on Facebook in the past week alone. Viral or not, Gibbs thinks the video was a success. He said that throughout the week new customers have been coming in mentioning the video.

Ive got more traffic from the little video we did than anything else thats occurred so far, Gibbs said.

Gibbs is now working on HoneyBaked Ham’s grand opening on March 17. Until then, he said, he is still searching for the right words to sell the store to the Bedford Stuyvesant community.

As for Katz, he said that he is talking to the rest of the BID board about a plan to duplicate the HoneyBaked Ham video and scale it up for the other businesses in the community.

I have a genuine desire for all businesses to do well, especially the ones in the business corridor, said Katz.

Watch Gibbs’s and Katz’s video here:

Shiloh Frederick

Shiloh Frederick reports for BK Reader. She is a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she earned an undergraduate degree in history, with a minor in journalism. Shiloh is now dedicating her...

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