Kearney, Neb. – This year another lucky business got to walk away with Russ’s Market Nebraska Best Local Product Award. This award has been going on for seven years now, but this year GROW Nebraska was honored to help present Cedar Hollow Ham’s as the winner. Cedar Hollow Ham’s is based out of Lincoln, Nebraska and was without a doubt the right choice for the award.
There is also no better business to sponsor this award than Russ’s Market who has been around since 1964 and has been a GROW Nebraska member since 2009. Just like any business it started with one little store in Lincoln, Nebraska and expanded to thirty-two stores today. Brian Hayes District Manager of Russ’s B&R states some of the key aspects they look for in finding a business for this award is the obvious, a Nebraska based company. He said this jokingly but continued with some major key points.
Hayes states, “It starts with quality product. If you have a quality product it’s just a natural tie in when we find another Nebraska company that is kicking butt. It’s a partnership made in heaven. If we can sell it and be profitable selling it, we will go a hundred miles an hour, and we will work together. We have done that with so many businesses. That’s what we look for and we have done that with Cedar Hollow Hams. That’s why we chose them this year. Straight up quality and it’s right in our back yards. Especially when they are willing to come to our market with great costs.”
Russ’s Market customers know it’s a value from that quality and price value of the product. Cedar Hollow Hams was represented by two of their leaders this year. Jim Giegling VP of sales who has been in the meat industry for thirty plus years but has been with Cedar Hollow Ham’s for about four. He was excited to come to a family-owned business and have good partners inside this community. Tim Hagedorn the VP of Operations who has been with the company since 2003 where he started as the quality control guy and has worked his way up from there. He has really loved working for a family-owned company as well as them giving them the ability to run the company the way they want it to be ran.
Cedar Hollow Ham’s has been around since 1991 starting with six or eight employees and has only grown since then. They didn’t expect it to grow to where it is now. They started with meat department sales and expanded to deli and now are trying to find a good balance between the meat and deli departments.
When asked about how they felt about winning the award Hagedorn states, “I was surprised. Jerry our CEO told us about it, I didn’t know until then.” Giegling follows up and states, “We’re excited about being recognized as a local manufacturer here in town. Having a good partner like Russ’s. Our goal is really to grow our business from here in Lincoln out.” Cedar Hollow Ham’s doesn’t go farther west than the Rockies yet, but they go all the way to the east coast. Giegling states, “I think ultimately we want to continue to grow and keep working with family-owned organizations like Russ’s.”
The 2023 MarkeTech conference had so many great speakers, and incredible sponsors making it possible to wrap up with the highest attendance it has ever had. What an honor it has been to continue to host the award at MarkeTech. Brian Hayes states, “It’s the perfect outlet. You guys are promoting Nebraska businesses. There’s no better place than here.”
The GROW Nebraska Foundation will be excited to announce next year’s winner at the 2024 conference which will be held February 29th. For more information about MarkeTech please visit https://marketechconference.com/ and stay tuned for upcoming details on next year’s conference!
By Katee Daly
The GROW Nebraska® Foundation was founded with the idea of expanding resources to businesses and entrepreneurs alike to make a sustainable living anywhere within the state of Nebraska. As a 501(c) 3 educational foundation, the GROW Nebraska® Foundation was founded in 1998 and now works to extend resources, training, a brick and mortar store, as well as an eCommerce site full of Nebraska products to help elevate Nebraska-based businesses and connect Nebraska entrepreneurs to the global marketplace. Support or join GROW Nebraska Foundation’s efforts by visiting www.grownebraska.org.