The Cast Iron Cow

The Cast Iron Cow


Several folks have asked me about our cast iron cow on the counter… well, here’s the story. Sometime before opening Wells Cattle Co. Restaurant in Downtown Rockwall Texas, Lynda and I visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma. We toured the studio of the Food Network's The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond. We visited the Drummond Ranch, and shopped in the The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. Lynda bought a few items and I carried around this small cast iron cow. She asked me about it, and I simply said - One day this will sit on the counter of our restaurant we will open. She said okay, and that was that. My inspiration for the cow was two-fold. First my dad was a foreman on the neighboring Chapman-Barnard Ranch. At the time the ranch was the largest in Oklahoma with 85,000 acres. It was before my time, but the stories still ring in my ears. I was raised on tales of the ranch-life just outside of Pawhuska, OK, and to go back to that area as an adult was amazing. It was a trip of my imagination thinking back over those stories as we drove around the Northern Oklahoma prairie. Saddle bronc rides, breaking horses, working cattle, near-death experiences, all of them as true as the dust and blue sky.

My second inspiration comes from my time spent around the Pioneer Woman’s buildings that weekend. I was in awe of the excellence of the construction, organization and quality of one woman’s dream. This place was amazing. The food was outstanding, and the most inspiring was the way she saw this dream before it was ever built. She saw something in the streets of a tired downtown. She saw the people coming from all around to experience her vision, take on life, and the way she cooked. As I walked around the Mercantile that weekend I said to myself, If she can build this here, I can build a restaurant in Rockwall. I can serve a different burger with the highest quality whole-ground beef, and they will come. I know it sounds silly, but this little cast iron cow is a seed of someone else doing what others doubted, to create what others could not see yet.

Today we are only nine months old; we have built an additional deck seating that doubles our capacity; we have streamlined processes and added live music, extra parking measures, and we continue to improve on everything everyday. We won a people’s choice award in December naming us as “Best Burger in Rockwall county 2018.” This past week we received the coveted Living Magazine - Chansen Media Group's "Reader’s Choice 2019 - Best Burger Award” spanning more than just our city and beyond our own county!
We began in a small house that barely sat 40 people. We washed and painted the old 1930’s downtown house, changed the decor, and paid a ton of money to get the old vent and kitchen up and working. Now each morning as we turn on the open signs, the cast iron cow is in its place on the desk to watch the dream being built.
We truly love and appreciate every single person who helps us reach for the dream every single day.

Lee Wells
Wells Cattle Co.
Rockwall, Texas