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Oneida Nation is lead investor as Zaccanelli Food Group acquires Hofmann Sausage Company

By WKTV News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Dallas-based Zaccanelli Food Group (ZFG) announced on Monday that it has acquired the Syracuse-based Hofmann Sausage Company, New York's popular purveyor of premium sausages, hot dogs and other quality meat products.

A family-run business founded by Frank W. Hofmann in 1879, Hofmann has become a household brand throughout Central New York and selected markets down the East Coast.

"We plan to transition Hofmann from a regional icon to a national and international brand, while maintaining the Hofmann family tradition of quality and exceptional customer service," said Frank Zaccanelli, CEO of Hofmann Sausage Company. "For Central New York customers, the only thing that will change is that no matter where they go, they'll be able to enjoy the "World's Greatest Hot Dog" and be proud it all started in their home area. Hofmann Sausage Company has a strong brand, quality products and a loyal fan base. By leveraging these factors and increasing product placement, through our wholesale outlets and the development of our Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) concept - created by the famed restaurateur - Phil Romano, we plan to take the company to the next level of brand recognition and product awareness," stated Zaccanelli.

Zaccanelli, a Syracuse native, will serve as the company's Chairman & CEO. Zaccanelli is a seasoned investor and investment management professional with over 32 years of merger and acquisition and business development experience in both existing businesses and venture capital start-ups. Among his most notable accomplishments, Zaccanelli served as the President, General Manager, and minority owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.

Rusty Flook, former Hofmann Sausage Company President and 5th generation of the Hofmann family, will remain active in the company as Vice Chairman of the Board, the founding family member, and investor.

Flook draws attention to his family's tradition of providing quality meat products and exceptional customer service, saying. "The acquisition and succession by the Zaccanelli Food Group is a perfect way to honor and expand upon the 133 year Hofmann family legacy. Our main objectives of excellence, quality, and tradition will not change. The markets and restaurants we serve can expect the same level of legendary service, and those who enjoy our products can count on us to provide the foods they love. This acquisition will allow us to continue doing that on a national and international scale."

Lead investor, Oneida Nation Enterprises, led by CEO Ray Halbritter, said "Joining in this acquisition demonstrates the Oneida Indian Nation's commitment to diversifying our enterprises and re-investing in Central New York. Hofmann is an iconic brand in this region. The Oneida Nation is proud to be part of the group that takes it to the next level," said Halbritter, who will also serve on the Board of Directors.

Zaccanelli said, "I brought this investment opportunity to my friends at the Oneida Indian Nation because of their entrepreneurial spirit and successful history of creating jobs and helping grow the region's economy. The Oneida Nation's Turning Stone Resort will also serve as the world marketing center for all Hofmann activities."

Other major investors include Syracuse University Head Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim, famed restaurateur Phil Romano, creator of a number of popular national restaurants, including Fuddruckers, Romano's Macaroni Grill, eatZi's Market & Bakery and Cozymel's, former Syracuse Police Chief and two-time Syracuse University All-American basketball player Dennis DuVal, and famed Dallas Cowboys quarterback and successful businessman Roger Staubach. Mary Ann Van Lokeren, former CEO of St. Louis-based Anheuser Busch distributor Krey Distributing also joins the board.

Romano said, "As a native Central New Yorker who grew up eating Hofmann hot dogs, I am excited to be a part of this fantastic opportunity with Frank and his team and look forward to developing a Quick Service Restaurant chain featuring "Hofmann's World's Greatest Hot Dogs." The first restaurants will open in Dallas and then expand across the country." Romano is also a Hofmann board member.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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