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Mexia diner partners with local farm to support community

Posted at 12:10 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 18:50:21-04

MEXIA, TX — Farm-to-table is a fresh way to eat, but during this pandemic it's become much more than that for the Mexia community.

"It's important for all businesses to support each other, especially in small communities like Mexia, Texas. To reach out and support each other when we can. To lift each other up when we can," said Joe Friday's Diner Owner Stephen Friday.

As Stephen buys a fresh bag of produce from Lightsey Farms, the cashier tells him to say hi to his wife.

Friday and his wife Valarie bring their kids to Lightsey Farms most weekends.

"Almost everybody knows everybody in Mexia so it it's safe to say we know almost everybody," said Farmer Mary Lightsey who has known Valarie since she was born.

"We're the life blood of these communities and without these businesses people don't have jobs. We all have families that we need to feed, mortgages and things like that," said Stephen.

The Friday's diner kept serving chicken fried steak with all the fixings through delivery and drive-thru, but when the dining room reopened, something else was on the menu.

"Local farm-to-table is nothing new but it really gave me a chance during this pandemic to think about how to do things a little bit differently with my business. I spoke with my wife who is a co-owner of the business and what better way to support our local businesses by supporting each other. So we decided we would reach out to LIghtsey's to use their produce," said Stephen.

"Everybody sees the benefit of that," said Mary.

Produce prices remain steady, and the supply chain can't be beat.

It's just down the road and Lightsey Farms says it couldn't pick a better partner.

"I think it's great. You realize you don't have to go far if something gets shut down, you're right there. It gives you access to things you don't have to worry about as much. Local is the way to go," said Mary.

They get peaches for cobbler and tomatoes for salad.

The beans can't be beat, and the love for community can't either.

"It's important to put that first. In front of yourself. In front of your business and everything else will lay itself out," said Stephen.

If you'd like to visit Lightsey Farms or order a produce box for pick up at Farmers Markets across Texas including Waco, Belton, Houston and soon Dallas, just visit their website here.

Learn more about Joe Friday's Diner here.