The history of Henny Penny is long. In 1954, nestled in the heart of Eaton, Ohio, Chester Wagner, owner of Whispering Oak restaurant, faced a challenge: he wanted to serve more chicken, faster. With ingenuity and a clear vision, he crafted a solution—a better fryer. This innovation not only transformed his kitchen but laid the foundation for Henny Penny, a company launched in 1957 that would revolutionize commercial kitchens worldwide.
Henny Penny Enters the Sixties
Fast forward to 1963, Henny Penny introduced its flagship pressure fryers, changing high-volume cooking forever. By 1973, a decade of growth prompted an expansion in Eaton, signifying Henny Penny’s burgeoning impact on the foodservice industry. Under the stewardship of Jack Cobb, who took the helm in 1975, the company’s ethos of leadership, vision, and culture catapulted it into a realm of unprecedented respect among foodservice equipment manufacturers globally.
Henny Penny Diversifies
The 1980s and 1990s marked an era of diversification for Henny Penny, introducing holding cabinets, overseas offices, rotisserie ovens, bun warmers, and more. Each innovation opening new possibilities for kitchen efficiency and culinary excellence. The turn of the century saw Henny Penny’s relentless pursuit of innovation, with the introduction of reduced-oil capacity technology and the Evolution Elite open fryer in 2009. This innovation set new standards in sustainability and operational efficiency.
Not just content with technological advancements, Henny Penny also prioritized its people and community. In 2015, a significant transition to employee ownership through a trust underscored a commitment to shared success and well-being. This ethos of care extended further in 2020 with the opening of the Henny Penny Cares Clinic, providing on-site healthcare to employee owners.
Henny Penny: Today
Recent years showcase Henny Penny’s solid commitment. They’ve focused on innovation, community, and employee well-being. They’ve held groundbreaking ceremonies and celebrated big milestones. Henny Penny also launched innovative products, like the F5 Series Fryers with touchscreen controls. Each step highlights a journey of ongoing progress and a vision for the future.
Today, Henny Penny shines as a global leader in the foodservice industry. It started in a small Ohio restaurant and grew into a worldwide distributor network. This journey tells a tale of hard work, new ideas, and community spirit. With every chicken cooked and fryer sold, Henny Penny’s impact grows, touching lives everywhere.
As we look back on old photos of original Henny Penny equipment, we’re reminded not just of how far we’ve come, but of the countless meals, moments, and milestones that have shaped our story. The history of Henny Penny isn’t just about creating the best foodservice equipment. It’s about building a better future for our customers, our communities, and our world.