LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — After a post on Facebook last week, support for beloved ham business Hager Hams (previously known as Heavenly Hams) has been pouring in as the store’s owner, Louis Hager, announced the business would close its doors for good at the end of February.
There is a possibility that the Hager Hams legacy continues if Hager is able to sell the business. Regardless, when the clock strikes midnight on Feb. 28, it will be the end of an era.
The sudden cloture comes as the building the store is located, Regency Centre off Lowry Lane in Lexington, told Hager he would have to move out.
Hager said the reason he was given was that the people he leased the space from, RJ Thieneman, found an outright buyer for the building.
“I previously knew something was going on, and so I started kind of preparing for it,” Hager explained. “Any time you can get somebody like that that’s wanting to take over an entire building. Obviously, you know, you want to do that. So, I’m not blaming them at all.”
This isn’t the first time Hager has been told to move his business to a different location.
Almost 10 years ago, Hager was told to move the store out of Lexington Green.
Hager said at his age, 61, and more than three decades in the ham business after previously being in the funeral business; to move again is just too much.
For him, the store is more to him than just deli meat.
“My oldest son was two years old when we bought the business, Hager described. “We would set a cot up back in a storage room up there, and he would fall asleep there as we were working. It’s like this business and this store is like my family.”
In that time, Hager has had two more children, and several grandchildren. He’s gotten to see them grow up in the store. He said his one regret however is not being able to spend more time with them during the holidays, when the store was at its busiest.
As much as the store was family to Hager, he is family to his loyal customers.
“You don’t get family feeling in the bigger stores and you walk in here,” said Noah Thomas
LATEST KENTUCKY NEWS:
“You know people are honest,” Debbie Thomas explained. “You know, they have integrity. You know, you’re going to get a good product. You don’t ever worry about that.”
When it comes time to shut the store’s doors for good, Hager has no doubt it won’t be an easy goodbye.
“I’ve tried not to think too much about it,” Hager detailed. “My younger son, when I had to leave Lexington Green, he said that he can remember seeing the disappointment in my face for that last time, locking the door. This is going to be probably that times 10, maybe when I have to leave here and lock the door for the last time. It’s going to be very, very emotional.”
From now through the end of the month you can still purchase ham and boxed lunches, which includes hams for Easter.