“Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs," quipped American GOAT writer Mark Twain. The new owners of Hamm's Meat + Market in McKinney agree wholeheartedly, especially when adding curated, customized meals to the fare.
Noah and Lacey Hester recently purchased from previous owners Tony and Sarah Smith the boutique butcher shop at 307 West Louisiana St. The shop is known for a commitment to carrying locally sourced products and artisan-prepared accouterment, and the Hesters vow nothing will change about that.
"We did a lot of praying lately about the next new chapter in our lives, and the stars aligned for us to work with Sarah and Tony to purchase Hamm's. We love its charm, and will continue to feature fresh food options and products that originate from sustainable practices," explains Lacey.
Perhaps the stars and the universe have been aligning for decades regarding this path for the Hesters, as general stores and food markets are threaded throughout both Lacey and Noah's families.
- The 'Puako Store' in Hawaii was owned by Noah's mother. Noah says he used to work there, providing catering from the kitchen.
- The 'Edwards Store' in Stoutland, Missouri, was Lacey's great-grandfather's operation. "My great-grandfather was born in 1920, and grandmother grew up working in this store, like I hope my kids now will, with our butcher shop and market," she adds.
- The 'Edwards Market' was owned by Sylvester and Flora Edwards, Lacey's great-great-grandparents. Their store was in Richland, Missouri.
- The 'Country Store' in Freedom, Missouri, was owned by Lacey's great-great-grandfather on her grandmother's mother's side.
"This is all another reason why we're so proud to keep the tradition going for Hamm's as a family owned and operated location," Lacey says.
Noah was born in Austin, Texas, before moving to Hawaii. Growing up on the Kohala Coast, he says he discovered his love for Pacific Rim flavors at a young age. He was influenced by Alan Wong, one of Hawaii’s first chefs to specialize in Hawaii's Regional Cuisine. He spent his early years working in Big Island restaurants before moving to Nashville to reconnect with his Southern roots. Once stateside, he says he blended his love of Southern hospitality with the aloha spirit, and now has 15 years of beneficial chef experience.
Noah is also the brand manager for Bradshaw Bourbon (Kentucky straight whiskey), and creates his own collection of sauces.
Noah confirms they will still carry fresh/pasture-raised eggs and hand-cut meats originating from sustainable farms, plus specialty seasonings, rubs and glazes. He says they also will have a varied selection of beer, wine, ciders and locally sourced delicacies, such as gourmet pickles, cheese slices, seasonal vegetables, breads, buns, dips, Hamm's potato salad, pimento spread, cold snack plates and Chef Noah Hester's branded soy and hot sauces.
While Hamm's currently is open for lunch, Noah says they plan to offer a brand-new, membership-based 'Supper Club' for once monthly meal tasting events. "We can accommodate about 10 to 15 diners, and hope to debut this club as early as possible this fall. Patrons can expect some favorite meals with a Hester spin on them," he adds.
Lacey says customers also may sign up for "butcher boxes," which will be ready-made meats and accompaniments to pick up at the shop.
She says they're already brainstorming what type of fanciful food packages to assemble for the upcoming holidays. "We envision racks of lamb, smoked meats, creamy casseroles and gourmet desserts."
Customers also can get ready for Noah's house-made bacon jerky and barbecue-related creations. "We believe healthy food can, and should, still have lots of flavor, so delivering that will be our daily goal," he vows.
From being established in 1954, Hamm’s original location was off Highway 5 while entering McKinney from Route 75. This served as a slaughterhouse and processing plant for Collin County. The shop was relocated to its current spot in the 1980s and continued to evolve as the city developed around it.