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With much fanfare and enthusiasm, the long-anticipated arrival of a Chicken Salad Chick franchise in Southwest Louisiana is finally here! Owners Claiborne and Cindy Self opened their latest business venture with a grand, week-long opening earlier this month.
You could say the Self’s have long anticipated this grand opening, as well. They first discovered Chicken Salad Chick in 2010 while on a vacation in Florida. They were impressed not only by the food, which they thought (with good reason) was fabulous, but the business model got their attention, too. They inquired soon after about bringing a Chicken Salad Chick to Louisiana, but at the time, the Atlanta-based company was not yet expanding this far west. Fast forward to 2019 and the Self’s purchased the rights to a Chicken Salad Chick franchise. But with the many events of 2020 and the subsequent recovery time, their plans were put on hold for a couple years. Claiborne says that in a way it was a blessing. In 2019, they struggled to find an ideal spot for their new business. But after the wait, the perfect location became available on Nelson Road.
Chicken Salad Chick got its start in Auburn, Alabama when Stacy Brown, known for her stellar chicken salad, realized that everyone’s idea of the perfect chicken salad is completely different. Some like it with grapes, apples, and walnuts; others prefer sweet pickles and eggs. Stacy started by experimenting with her own version of the perfect chicken salad and began distributing samples around town and then selling it door-to-door. Until the health department told her that was actually illegal to operate a food business out of her home kitchen. That motivated Stacy to open the first Chicken Salad Chick restaurant.
Chicken Salad Chick is known for their healthy meal options. The all-white meat chicken salads come in 12 unique flavors and are made from scratch daily with the perfect combination of flavorful ingredients and our secret blend of spices and seasonings. They also sell pimento cheese (regular and spicy), Mac’n Cheese, egg salad and turkey sandwiches. Sides include broccoli salad, pasta salad, fresh fruit, gourmet soups . . . and a grape salad side that Claiborne says is reputed to be rather addictive. On the sweet side they offer scrumptious desserts and Buttercream Frosted Flower Cookies. Their menu includes selections for “Little Chicks” as well. A catering menu will be added prior to the holidays.
Cindy says the flavors and vibe at Chicken Salad Chick have a southern feel, but they are opening new stores as far north as Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. “They’re really growing and currently have 224 stores open, with plans for more than 230 stores by year end.
The franchise is family-friendly with a warm, inviting atmosphere. Each table is topped with a tablecloth featuring the brand’s floral flair. “I call it a high-touch, quick serve restaurant,” says Claiborne. “Great service is intentional, not accidental. To this day, guests will feel the type of hospitality that Stacy intended in each restaurant, and the brand has a community focus as stated in the company’s motto – to spread joy, enrich lives and serve others.”
Quintessential entrepreneurs, Claiborne and Cindy Self have owned and operated numerous businesses in SWLA over the years. At one point in the heyday of VHS, they owned 23 Blockbuster Video stores. Currently, in addition to Chicken Salad Chick, they own CC’s Pawn Superstore and two Waxing the City locations; Lake Charles and Lafayette. The Self’s have always placed a high priority on quality products and stellar customer service. Not only is Chicken Salad Chick a great product, but it aligns with the Self’s personal business philosophy.
To experience America’s Favorite Place for Chicken Salad for yourself, visit them at 3723 Nelson Road. For more information, find Chicken Salad Chick Lake Charles on Facebook or call 337-333-2442(CHIC).