It appears Neil and Anna Stephens were running an egg-selling operation that was complete with chickens and chicken coops in their back yard at their home on Newland Street in Jackson. They are currently at the center of a controversy as they leased several Northeast Jackson homes to the Oxford House. The Stephenses kept chickens in their back yard and sold eggs under the label "Urban Eggs". They even advertised the eggs for sale online. Social South published a story positively gushing about Urban Eggs in February:
My friend Anna Stephens is one of my favorite people in the world for a hundred reasons! We’ve known each other since childhood. We’ve eaten Mexican food together on a regular basis for years now, played basketball both with and against each other, and she even let me live tweet from her account at her wedding! I love to laugh at her about these ugly shoes she wears all the time and she laughs at me about how tall and uncoordinated I am. I also love to laugh at her about the fact that she and her husband have about 15 chickens living in her backyard. But even more, I love that she sells me eggs that these chickens lay. We’ve got a good friendship going!
So why does Anna have chickens in her backyard? Well, that’s a pretty awesome story!
One day about two years ago, Anna’s friend Kathleen ordered her a box of baby chickens as a fun little prank. I think Kathleen was thinking, “It’s going to be hilarious when Anna comes home from work to a shipment of live baby chickens on her doorstep. She’s gonna freak!” But I’m not sure Kathleen thought Anna would actually keep the chickens, much less name them, build a complex for them in her backyard, and start the business we know today as Urban Eggs! Yes, Anna and her husband Neal have a chicken’s paradise built in the backyard of their Jackson home for Caramel, Yoli, Yanni, Runt, and the rest of the UE gang to live and lay.
When Anna and Neal decided to keep the chickens, my first thought was, “Wow, your neighbors are going to hate you. Don’t roosters get super loud at sunrise every morning?” I know I wouldn’t be too fond of a 6 a.m. wake up call every morning from my neighbor’s chickens!
But Anna said she and Neal made the difficult decision to give away all the men to keep the neighborhood peace. I believe that was a great decision. Now, they have a gang of gals that roam around the yard, lay colorful eggs every day, and eat Anna and Neal’s gourmet leftovers. (I swear these chickens eat better food than I do… The Stephenses are master chefs!)
Because these chickens have a whole yard in which to roam, and because they eat homemade lasagna and eggplant parmesan in addition to their special chicken feed, they lay the most delicious (and beautiful!) eggs ever! I’ve always heard that happy chickens lay better eggs, and Anna and Neal’s brood have proven that to be very true. Urban Eggs eggs come in all different egg colors and they definitely taste superior to your average grocery store eggs!
In addition to being prettier and tastier than everyday eggs, they come packaged in a lovely gray egg carton with a stamp of Anna’s moped on the front! Buddy, the name we’ve given this moped, is Anna’s signature transportation source, so her mom had a stamp made that they could use on the cartons to set them apart. Very clever and cute!
To get your own carton of Urban Eggs eggs, all you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell Anna how many you want! She’ll coordinate with you on getting the eggs to you. And to keep up with the Urban Eggs fun on a daily basis, you can like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram!
I hope you get a chance to order and enjoy some Urban Eggs in the very near future!
Laurel Donahoo is a regular contributor on The Daily Social as the Social Bee. For more Social Bee posts, click here. Rest of article
Cute, heartwarming story. However, a check of city records reveals that the business may not have a license to operate from the city of Jackson. The business appears to have no permits. A Jackson ordinance also states:
602.02.2 Uses Which May Be Permitted As Special Exceptions:3. Dairying and animal husbandry on sites of not less than one (1) acre provided such use does not constitute a nuisance or health hazard. The maximum number of animals per acre shall be two (2) and when
A. the indoor and/or outdoor enclosures are located at the rear of residential structures with minimum setback of one hundred (100) ft. from all adjacent property linesB. upon the granting of the Special Exception, all types of enclosures, bufferings and the plan for the removal of wastes must be approved through the Site Plan Review processC. prior to the granting and renewal of the Special Exception, a notarized letter from a licensed veterinarian verifying the health status and current shot record of the animal(s) is submitted
The couple also does not appear to have Urban Eggs registered as a company with the Secretary of State. The Department of Agriculture must issue a permit before such an operation can take place. No such permit was issued by the department.