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A man and woman stand close together in a meat market. Coolers are behind them. In his right hand, the man holds a slab of raw meat.
Noah and Lacey Hester in Hamm’s Meat + Market in McKinney.
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Noah and Lacey Hester Bring Home the Bacon (and Wagyu and Chickens)

The duo purchased Hamm’s Meat + Market in McKinney with some big ideas

Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

The butcher shop Hamm’s Meat + Market in McKinney has been serving the community for 69 years — and this year it got a new owner. Noah Hester, who is the corporate chef for RNC Entertainment, a group perhaps best known for putting together concert VIP packages, and his wife Lacey, who you might know as Terry Bradshaw’s daughter and one of the stars of The Bradshaw Bunch on E!, decided to buy the joint. Eater Dallas caught up with them in the midst of a shopping trip to find out what changes are in the works and what’s going to stay the same at the DFW icon.

Why did you decide to buy Hamm’s?

Noah Hester: I was working in a restaurant a block away so I’ve been buying meat from them and featuring it on my menu, and they carried some of the sauces from my line. It is just a cute, enjoyable market. I like the atmosphere and what they were doing. The previous owners asked Lacey and I to go to lunch one day, told us they were moving and they’d put a lot into it and didn’t want Hamm’s to go to just anybody. They said they were thinking about it, and they thought we’d be perfect.

It hadn’t been on our radar at any point, to own a butcher shop. But Lacey and I started talking it over, and talking to our families. Lacey’s great-grandmother had a little market and shop, my mom had one that I ran for her in Hawaii and started my catering company out of. It seemed like a good fit, and was something we could be creative in that could grow with us and be a place for our kids to grow up in — we could be part of the community.

What does the future of Hamm’s look like to you?

That changes daily for me. I’m not very good at doing the same thing over and over again. We’ve talked about fun ideas, including pop-up dinners, meet and sips, butcher classes — things to bring the community inside and make it more than a butcher shop. And Lacey has a great idea about a conversation table. We’ve got a nice, long table set up and she talked about having guests come in, while people sit at the table and put their phones away, to tell stories. We might take questions or put flashcards around the table to start a conversation, but the idea is to get people who don’t know each other around the table.

There’s a lot of conversation about locally sourced meats and sustainability at Hamm’s. Tell me about that?

For me, after growing up in Hawaii, it was crucial for the whole community to support local agriculture and bring in products that were made, farmed, grown, raised, whatever on the island. It’s important to me, if we’re going to be a part of the community in McKinney, to source things from the community as well. Lacey’s done a lot of research on what the animals are eating, how they’re raised, and how it affects the quality of the meat. We’re feeding people, we’re providing them a product they’ll take home to their families. I’m more comfortable when I know where that comes from and how it was raised.

Lacey: We’re [working] with Rosewood Ranch in Ennis. It’s been in the family for multiple generations. They’re passionate about how their cows are raised and treated. When we took over and went through everything we liked their product. They do an Angus and wagyu blend, so we get almost all of our wagyu from them.

What can folks expect from Hamm’s now?

Lacey: José Facundo, the head butcher, has been there for 40 years. He is a wealth of knowledge we want to keep around for as long as he’ll stay with us. We want to do whole animals, have butchery classes, and get the shop back to its roots. José is part of a dying breed of people who know how to butcher a whole hog or cow. We feel grateful to have the opportunity.

Noah: José has been doing his honey-glazed hams that whole time — it was originally what the shop was known for. We’re trying to bring that process back and show people the difference in doing it the traditional way. And we want them to know the difference if you buy it from us rather than Walmart. You’re getting an animal from a small farm or ranch and supporting a small business. We’ll also do turkeys for the holidays. We’ll have fried, Cajun, and organic turkeys. Lacey does beautiful work with dough, so we’ll also have some beef Wellington to pre-purchase.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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