The Brownwood area will welcome a new dining option when Heff’s Burgers opens its newest location on Early Boulevard this Friday.
    Heff’s is a fast-growing Abilene-based chain that serves burgers, sandwiches, chicken, steak fries, salads and desserts. The store was founded in 2009 when the Heffernan family began selling burgers at a convenience store in the Abilene suburb of Potosi. Heff's owner and founder Brenda Heffernan said her family’s personal ties to Early made the city an attractive option for the expanding store.
    “I’ve raised three boys, and we did a lot of FFA projects,” Heffernan said. “We’d come to the Early Jackpot Pig shows, and we’d hang out at Underwood’s Barbecue. Brownwood and Early, it’s just a good place. If I ever move from Abilene, that’s probably where I’d like to retire.”
    Heffernan said her burger store is growing quickly and will have 16 locations by the end of the year. She said it was the freshness and quality of her products that led to Heff’s rapid rise.
    “We’ve had the best burger in Abilene, Texas for the last six years,” Heffernan said. “Everywhere we’ve opened up, we got Best Burger.”
    Heffernan recounted the story of Heff’s founding. According to the Heff’s website, the Potosi location opened five years after Jason Heffernan, Brenda’s son, was run into by a drunk driver in an accident that left him paralyzed.
    “He actually had the idea of starting a burger place,” Heffernan said. “He invented the seasoning and the sauce, and we just kind of did it to get him out of the house.
    “Before you knew it, we were getting the attention of big restaurants and companies,” she said.
    Heffernan said Heff’s name came from her boys, who were referred to in high school as “Big Heff, Little Heff and Heff.”
    Heffernan said the Early Heff’s had already hired employees but was always interested in more qualified applicants.
    “We’ve hired quite a few, but I never shut the door,” she said.
    Larry McConn, assistant administrator for the City of Early, said his office had officially cleared the Heff location for its opening, giving the restaurant its certificate of occupancy on Monday. He said Heff’s was just the latest in a recent string of businesses to open in Early and that it was a great time to be a resident.
    “The business is booming in Early right now,” McConn said. He cited Discount Tire, Holiday Inn and Central Texas Land Bank as examples of businesses that had recently opened or would open soon in Early.
    “We just want to welcome them to town,” McConn said of Heff’s. “I know as a resident, I’m ready to go try their hamburger.”
    Heff’s is located at the three-way intersection of Early Boulevard and Highway 183 next to Aaron’s.