BY MICHAEL REISIG –
If you’re looking for good food at prices that won’t break the family budget, Mena has a new store that can help you out. Not Just Chicken, located in the Papa’s Mexican Café plaza on Highway 71 South, lives up to its name, providing a variety of meats and prepared foods that the family will find pleasing.
Owner, Judith Kelly is originally from Connecticut, but she came here in 1976, “with all her worldly possessions, four dogs and six cats.” Over the years, she and her husband Ronald, whom she met on a blind date, have owned chicken houses and raised four boys. But Kelly has also showed and bred Boxers and German Shepherd dogs, exercised exotic horses, and worked as a USDA poultry inspector. She has also served as a substitute teacher as well. But she and her husband were looking for something special – a business that had a future and something that wasn’t already in town – and something that people genuinely needed, and that wouldn’t be jeopardized by the larger retail stores.
“That brought us around to Not Just Chicken,” Kelly explained. “We offer a variety of products besides chicken, along with side dishes, fish, appetizers, and a variety of quality meats at affordable prices. I buy directly from Tyson and other wholesale venders in quantities of 5,000 pounds at a time, and everything is sold in bulk packaging, but generally, no more than five pounds, and many of our products are sold by weight, or dozens, etc.
“We offer a variety of french fries, sweet potato fries, Texas toothpicks, hush puppies, corn dogs. French toast sticks, super donuts (vitamin enriched), mini pizzas and hot pockets,” she continued. “For south of the border flavor we have burritos, crispitos, queso sauce, enchiladas, and chili rellenos.
“We have catfish filets, talipia filets, japeleno smoked sausage, pepperoni, bacon, pork chops, rib eye steak, angus beef patties, and sliced roast beef,” Kelly said. “For deserts there is frozen cookie dough, or turnovers in a variety of flavors, and fruit churros.”
Kelly reminded everyone that with all these great foods you’ll need side dishes, and she offers, breaded squash and okra, corn nuggets, fried pickles, veggie sticks, stir fry vegetable dishes, corn on the cob, broccoli, and breaded mushrooms.
“My goal is to always be priced less than the discount stores but always carry quality products,” she explained. “Our hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come in and just have a look around – see what we carry. I think the people of the area will be impressed with our prices and our quality. If you don’t see what you want, tell me and I will try to get it for you.”