Branded Burger Company was the winner of the Ellis County Burger Battle 2013. There were a total of 505 burger aficionados who voted in the first annual contest sponsored by the Daily Light and the Smokey Bull Burger took the number one ranking.

Branded Burger owners Michael and Kelley Ivy said they have only been in business for six months, and to have one of their burgers named as the best burger in Ellis County was thrilling. She said they entered four burgers into the contest and was proud when they heard which one had won.

“The Smokey Bull burger is one of our number one sellers,” Kelley said. “So we were very excited when we heard that it was the burger that won.”

She said she feels the reason that the Smokey Bull won is because of the ingredients that make up the burger. The burger comes with crispy bacon, grilled onions (which they sauté every morning), cheddar cheese and then topped with barbeque sauce.

Kelley said what makes Branded Burgers stand out from the competition is the fresh products they provide.

“We believe in keeping everything fresh around here,” she said. “Our buns are homemade and branded each morning. We only use 100 percent Angus beef and our mushrooms are sautéed every morning. Fresh is the only way to do things around here.”

Branded Burger got its name because of the branding of the burgers. Kelley said as she was tossing names around, she kept coming back to the word branded.

“I thought it would be neat to brand our burgers like people brand their cows,” she said. “That’s one of the many things that distinguish us from other burger eating places. So I thought it would be neat if we named the company Branded Burger.”

Due to the growing popularity of the restaurant, the couple added another indoor eating section, which opened Thursday, June 13. Michael said it took him about two months to complete the project and he did the majority of it by himself.

“It was a long, hard process but we needed the space,” Michael said. “We also wanted something different that people couldn’t find anywhere else. We tried to make the decorations just as original as our food.”

With the new addition, Michael said the restaurant comfortably holds 160 people, plus they have a patio eating area.

Kelley said they are very excited to see how well things are going.

“We’re very excited to be in Midlothian,” she said. “The community has embraced us and it’s been really great to receive such wonderful support.”

Branded Burger Company is located at 100 N. 8th St. in Midlothian. The hours of operation are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information about the restaurant, call 972-775-2202.

The Daily Light launched the Burger Battle challenge in May, with voting taking place each week on the Daily Light website as burgers battled in a bracketed contest until the champion was crowned.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.