Kelsey Lake Market to offer home-grown eats to Cassopolis residents
Published 11:31 am Thursday, November 4, 2021
LA GRANGE TOWNSHIP — Cass County resident Jill Hershberger has spent most of her life on her grandparents’ farm. Since the farm opened in 1996, Hershberger has witnessed it undergo many changes, watching the property go from grain production to sheep raising to growing a 30-plus herd of Angus cattle.
Now, as the third-generation owner, Hershberger is adding one more addition — an onsite market.
Kelsey Lake Market, located just outside of Cassopolis at 22599 Kelsey Lake St., is planning to open next month. When it opens for the first time, the market will sell beef raised at Hershberger’s family farm, Kelsey Lake Farms.
“We sell halves and quarters — we’ve done that was several years,” she said. “But this way, people can just come in and buy steaks or a few pounds of burger, because a quarter or a half is a lot to buy. This gives people the option to come to get something to throw on the grill.”
Eventually, Hershberger said she hopes Kelsey Lake Farms will offer additional meats, vegetables, honey, fruit preserves and more.
“We are working on our product line to expand it as much as we can,” she said. “We want to provide good products at a reasonable cost. We are going to make sure we have a reasonably-priced product for people to enjoy.”
Hershberger said Kelsey Lake Market is a dream a long time in the making. She said her family has been considering opening a market for several years. They were finally spurred to take the leap after seeing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on meat availability and pricing. Hershberger said she wanted to provide a local, affordable option to her community.
“This really is exciting,” she said. “We take a lot of pride in and put a lot of care into our farm, so this is one more thing that we can offer.”
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Kelsey Lake Market extended past its inspiration. Hershberger said she had hoped to open in the spring, but supply shortages caused the building’s shipment to be delayed until the end of October.
Now that the store is finally getting ready to open, Hershberger’s excitement grows — as has the community’s.
“We’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback on social media,” she said. “I can’t wait to have people come in and just see how they like it, and hopefully we will be able to fulfill the expectations they have for us.”