Syracuse, NY (WIBX) - The Oneida Indian Nation is relishing in its most recent investment, becoming the lead investor in the famed Hofmann Sausage Company.

Zaccanelli Food Group, a Dallas, Texas company, has acquired the 133 year-old Syracuse-based business and has plans to build the brand into a national and international product, with help from the Nation and others.

Oneida Nation CEO, Ray Halbritter, says the investment is good for everyone.

"It's a natural progression of our business success," Halbritter said. "We want to do more. We want diversify. We want to develop Upstate."


Former Hofmann Sausage Company president and 5th generation family member, Rusty Flook, says he's happy to see the company expand its horizons, while still being involved.

"I wasn't actively trying to sell the company," Flook said. "I had talked to some people about some ideas, about possibly stepping down, but when this deal came across it was a great opportunity for me to stay in the business and keep the legacy of the Hofmann family going."

The company has plans to expand both its production and sales, while remaining in Central New York. As of now, Hofmann employs 30 people.

Frank Zaccanelli, who is taking over the duties of Chairman and CEO, plans to start rolling out the products in Dallas, working with restauranteur Phil Romano to establish the "Hofmann's World's Greatest Hot Dogs" chain. Romano is the creator of several popular national restaurants, including Fuddrucker's, Romano's Macaroni Grill and Cozymel's.


Zaccanelli says although the goal is to make Hofmann's an international brand, it won't lose its regional flair.

"Any great product made will not lose its local tie, but enhance it," Zacanelli said.

The undisclosed multimillion dollar deal also includes investors such as SU Head Basketball Coach, Jim Boeheim, and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, among others.

The group also has plans to start selling the products in Albertson's supermarkets in Texas.

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