Behind the stand: Kelly Family Farms

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Olivia Lauter

Kelly Family Farms co-owner Chris Kelly started the burger place with his brother. The Kelly’s have run their business off of Lucas Road.

The sound of cars rushing by accompanies the sizzling of beef patties on the grill. It’s a warm sunny day, and the lunch crowd pulls in. The Kelly family begins another day behind the stand.

Kelly Family Farms is a family-owned local food stand located in Parker, Texas. The Kelly family began selling their farm-to-table hamburgers seven years ago.

“My brother and I were raising a few cows, and we ended up going through an agency that helped us establish pastures,” co-owner Chris Kelly said. “We contracted with a man from New Mexico that had registered Angus [beef]. We started making a barter for cattle, and eventually, we had so [much] cattle that we had to start thinking about marketing. That’s where the trailer and hamburger part of it came in.”

The Kelly family began raising cattle on their land in 2012. As their herd grew, the family realized they could sell their grass-fed beef. So seven years ago, they bought a trailer and began making hamburgers in hopes to share with the community.

“Our first weekend open was our busiest weekend ever, and we have maintained a good steady customer base [since then],” wife to Chris, Chanin Kelly, said. “I wouldn’t say that it has grown in time, but we’ve been able to maintain what we started with, which was a thriving little business from the beginning. That’s due to our wonderful community.”

The family prides itself on clean beef and the humane treatment of their animals. Compared to grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef is lower in fat and higher in many vitamins and minerals. The beef comes from their cows which graze on their ranch in Bonham, Texas.

“Our original goal wasn’t to sell as many burgers as possible,” son and former employee Chaney Kelly said. “Our goal was to produce a quality product in the cattle that we were raising. We raise them from the time they’re a calf in the mother’s womb to until it’s time to serve them to customers.”

In the beginning, at least one Kelly family member could be found behind the stand. They have hired other employees from the community as time has passed.

“The atmosphere working there was like a big family,” Chaney said. “I had my parents and siblings who were [working at] Kelly Family Farms, yet all of the employees felt like brothers and sisters. I know my dad looks at them as his kids.”

The stand is located right off W. Lucas road and is surrounded by covered picnic tables. According to the family, their busiest time of day is lunchtime, and the busiest season is spring.

“It isn’t like other businesses where the whole point is to just make a profit and name it something that will attract business,” Chaney said. “We’re putting our name on it because we believe in our product and everything it stands for.”