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.