Apple Lane… What has become the Tennessee Valley’s icon for Honey Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham and Overstuffed Sandwiches was started in Decatur, Alabama in December 1997. The history of Apple Lane is really very simple. In December 1995 I was standing in a long, slow moving, line at the HoneyBaked Ham Store™ in Huntsville, Alabama picking up my Christmas ham. When I looked around I recognized many of the people in line from my hometown of Decatur. OK, my friends are driving 45 minutes and then standing in line for 45 minutes - I think we can do better. After the Holidays I called Honey Baked Ham and asked about purchasing a franchise for Decatur. They told me that they didn’t franchise and that Decatur was not a large enough market for a HoneyBaked Ham Store™. I took a look at other companies who did offer a franchise, but between the up-front licensing fees and the recurring royalties it was pretty obvious that I was going to take all the risk, do all the work and give someone else half the profits. This didn’t sound like a great business plan, so I shelved the idea of a franchise and kept the idea that we could do it better. In August of 1997 I had the good fortune to meet a gentleman by the name of Don Bonano. Don lives in Detroit and owns Ham Supreme Shops. I visited Don to take a look at his operation and to try his ham. By the way, Don spent his career in the meat industry spending years developing a ham specifically for spiral slicing – the very ham we use today. During our visit I explained to Don my reservations about a franchise and told him I was simply looking for someone that would show me how to prepare the hams and then let me go on my way. He gladly offered to do this for $10,000.00 – I told him “I don’t think I can sell that much ham, I’ll give you $5,000.00”. Don agreed, and on December 12, 1997 Apple Lane opened at the current location on Highway 20 in Decatur selling spiral sliced honey glazed hams. We opened with the simple idea that we can do it better. Today is no different, we slow smoke our hams for 24 hours or longer over hard wood to seal in the flavor. The hams are spiral sliced and fire glazed with honey and spices fresh daily in the store. Our menu has grown since 1997 to include our signature over stuffed sandwiches, fresh baked made from scratch pies, and box lunches for our corporate customers but we still have the same idea – we can do it better.
Some places today claim they have the world’s best ham. In the Tennessee Valley we know better, come by Apple Lane and taste the difference.
Donnie L. Lane
Apple Lane has 2 Locations:
Apple Lane Decatur
AL Hwy 20 - 1/4 mile west of I-65
Apple Lane Madison
8580 Madison Blvd - Wal-Mart Shopping Center
Madison, AL 35758
Phone: (256) 774-8181
Fax: (256) 774-8202
Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
HoneyBaked Ham Store™ is a registered trademark of The HoneyBaked Ham Co. and is not affiliated with Apple Lane.
Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm