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Frostop: A family business that gets it right

Tim Kellar stands in front his menu and current pricing. The third-generation owner says his philosophy is offering good food and prices the community can afford.  Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Tim Kellar stands in front his menu and current pricing. The third-generation owner says his philosophy is offering good food and prices the community can afford.
Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Brothers Tim and Dwayne Kellar are co-owners of the local Frostop, located on U.S. Highway 11. The restaurant, which opened in the 1950s, has a loyal following which they attribute to their ability to offer good food, low prices and tradition.

The brothers are the third generation to own and run the business, following in the footsteps of their grandmother and parents.

“Odie Kemp built the place and my grandmother was his partner. She bought him out in the 1950s,” Tim Kellar said. “My mom and dad took it over and now Dwayne and I have had it for the past 15 years.”

Tim Kellar says his favorite menu item is the roast beef, anything with roast beef.

Tim Kellar said he enjoys running the business and appreciates his long time employees.

“Our employees are like family,” he said. “We had one lady who worked for all generations of owners and she just retired. She couldn’t take the 10-hour days, standing on her feet anymore. She is missed, but we have a good crew working now, as well.”

Tim Kellar said he enjoys being his own boss and likes the customers who frequent his restaurant.

“Most are really great,” he said.

What is the secret to his longevity?

“We believe in good food for a cheaper price than what you would get from somewhere else,” he said. “Today’s fast food prices are crazy.  In some cases you are looking at $10 per person.”

Another reason for the restaurant’s longevity is evident in how they treat their customers. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. through 8:30 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. Workers get there much earlier to prep for the lunch crowd.  The Item conducted this interview around 9 a.m. and it was not long after a gentlemen knocked on the window and asked to place an order. Even though the restaurant was not open they took his order and a happy customer left with his food.

The community thinks so highly of Frostop that the city presented a newly refurbished mug at the 2013 Civic Woman’s Club Christmas Parade.  The mug, which was blown down during Hurricane Camille in 1969, had resided in a field until the city returned it to its former glory.

Tim Kellar is grateful for the restoration.

“I used to hunt around it in the pasture and it looks a lot better,” he said. “Believe me, it never looked that good in the pasture and it is really cool to see it restored. The city did a great job.”