Turkey industry pioneer passes away

A co-founder of a leading turkey brand has passed away aged 80, her family has announced.

Mollie Kelly who died last week at her home in Danbury, Essex, started Kelly Turkeys with her husband, Derek, and recently wrote a recipe book to celebrate 25 years of the KellyBronze Turkey.

A company spokesperson said: “Although in failing health, Mollie has continued to attend industry events, including the British Poultry Council’s ceremony at the House of Commons last month, where her husband received a distinguished service award.

“Mollie is survived by her husband, three sons — Paul, now managing director of Kelly Turkeys, John and Adam — and daughter Lynne, and six grandchildren.”

From the early years of the business almost 40 years ago, Mollie was instrumental in playing a major influence on how the turkeys should be bred for flavour, while her own method of roasting a turkey, breast down, has been adopted by many households cooking the Christmas meal.

Mollie studied at Houghall School of Agriculture in County Durham, where she met Derek who was also a student there.