By Rebecca Rose
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - After six years and two locations, a mainstay on the Lampasas dining scene shut its doors.
Citing personal reasons, Yumm Factory owner Sandra Julian made the decision to close the popular local restaurant.
"It was an internal issue," said Julian. "During the Christmas holiday, I finally had the chance to see my grandchildren and other family. It had been over a year since I saw them.
"I was just married to the café."
Julian said she felt overworked and the business consumed too much of her personal life.
For Lampasas resident Shelby Smith, it's a notable loss.
Smith said he remembered enjoying many meals at the restaurant's Key Avenue location and as recently as December took his parents to the new location to celebrate their anniversary.
"I'm disappointed," he said. "It was a great place. We don't have that much between Copperas Cove and Lampasas to offer in the way of dining."
Would-be visitors to the café now see a "closed" sign. As of Friday, a recording on the restaurant's phone line simply states, "the café permanently closed on Jan. 8," offering no further explanation.
The Yumm Factory website offered a different message to customers: "Yes (we) have closed," it reads. "From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank you for all the years of fun, good folks and all the great food you allowed us to cook and present to you. Without loyal customers, we'd never had all those great times over the years."
The restaurant was a hit with local diners and foodies statewide. In 2008, Texas Monthly Magazine named Yumm Factory one of its "40 Best Small Town Cafes in Texas."
"Yes, it was popular," said Julian. "I just got tired of trying to please everybody, tired of working so much for this."
Julian reiterated the decision was not an economic one; in fact, the restaurant was doing well.
"We were always packed," she said.
The original Yumm Factory opened in the summer of 2006, at 1902 S. Key Ave. in Lampasas. That location closed in August. Julian re-opened Yumm Factory in October, at 8176 E. U.S. Highway 190 in Lampasas. Less than four months later, the second location closed.
Fans of Julian's food should know she hasn't given up cooking. Julian said she plans to return to her catering business, which features a full chuck wagon dining experience.
Julian also plans to participate in the chuck wagon cook-off contest, slated to take place in downtown Lampasas on April 6-7.
More information on the chuck wagon catering can be found at www.RafterTS.com.
Julian said she appreciated the opportunity to try her hand in the restaurant business.
"It was a good ride," said Julian. "I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm sorry for everybody who will miss us."
Contact Rebecca Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7548. Follow her on Twitter at KDHBusinessNews.