Salad

How Chicken Salad Chick became a fast-growing franchise

  • Stacy Brown was a recently divorced mother of three when she came up with an idea for a business making chicken salad at home and selling it door to door.
  • In an interview with Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” podcast, Brown told the emotional story of how close she came to losing everything, and how she put the company on a path to grow.
  • The brand now has more than 170 locations in 17 states and made more than $153 million in sales last year, the company told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Stacy Brown was a stay-at-home mother of three when the emotional and financial turmoil of a divorce pushed her to look for a way to provide for her kids.

As she explained in an interview with Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” podcast, she needed about $500 per month to support her family, so she turned to her lifelong appetite for chicken salad.

Her recipes were a hit, and before long she had turned a small project into a full-time job as the Chicken Salad Chick.

Progress wasn’t a straight line, however. Several major setbacks nearly ended the business before it truly got off the ground.

Here’s how Brown grew her brand from her home kitchen in Alabama in 2007 to a fast-growing restaurant franchise that told Business Insider it now has more than 170 locations across 17 states and sold more than $153 million last year.

Know your product, know your customer

Brown says her business idea arose fairly naturally when she considered how she could use her skills and experience to solve a problem that she knew many people shared.

“What have I perfected over these last years as a stay-at-home mom that people would value? Well, I knew that

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