GOESSEL — With a rural population, it is unlikely to find many businesses within the Goessel community – and understandably so. However, that didn’t stop Rod Boese and Ron Soller, Jr. from opening a business of their own: the Branding Iron.

"We didn’t have a restaurant here in Goessel, so I thought we needed to have a fast food place or a hamburger joint,” Boese said. “My friend and I decided to just purchase the building and we decided to open a hamburger place.”

Now, nearly a year later, the Branding Iron continues to be a success, serving customers from not only Goessel, but from Hillsboro, Newton, Hutchinson, and Salina.

“The word’s getting around,” said Soller.

Since its opening in October of last year, the two restaurant owners have put a lot of work into the building. Its newest renovation: a mural of a longhorn steer, painted by local artist Fern Bartel.

“Since I work with (Rod and Ron), they knew I painted,” Bartel said. “(They mentioned painting a longhorn). I looked for a picture I liked and showed it to them and they liked it.”

Bartel is currently employed at Bethesda Home and Retirement Center in Goessel alongside Boese and Soller, but she does artwork on the side. And while this is the first mural she has painted, Bartel certainly has taken on large projects before. “I paint backdrops at the high school for plays and stuff, and proms,” she said. “I like painting big.”

But her work on the mural is not complete yet – there are still plans to paint the shadows of other longhorns behind the one already painted on the building. “That one is just the main one,” said Bartel. “I’m also going to paint a ‘welcome’ on the side of (the building), so I’m not quite done yet.”

The Branding Iron is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m., Friday, 5 – 8 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

“We’re just thankful for the Goessel community for supporting us,” said Soller.