Hungry for some chicken salad? This restaurant is for you — when it opens

One of the first Ohio locations of the nation’s only Southern-inspired, fast-casual chicken salad restaurant concept is coming to Warren County.

Chicken Salad Chick’s announced Wednesday the signing of a new franchise agreement in Mason.

It also inked agreements in Columbus and Illinois.

The agreements are part of plans to expand the franchise’s footprint beyond the Southeast and into the Midwest and South Central regions, growing Chicken Salad Chick’s presence in existing markets, including Texas and Louisiana, and marking its entry into Ohio and Illinois.

Chicken Salad Chick's menu features more than a dozen kinds of chicken salads along with pimento cheese or egg salad, served by the scoop, in bread, toast or a croissant.

There’s also a varied selection of side dishes, soups and desserts.

An exact location and approximate opening date have not yet been identified, according to Carrie Evans, Chicken Salad Chick’s director of franchise development.

First-time Chicken Salad Chick franchisees Beth and Mike Heydt of Ready to Serve LLC are leading development efforts in Mason.

“We’re thrilled with the strides we’ve made in growing the brand in new and existing markets this year,” said Scott Deviney, CEO of Chicken Salad Chick. “Our development plans for Ohio and Illinois showcase our commitment to grow beyond the Southeast and with additional deals in the pipeline, we’re positioned for continued success in 2019.”

Chicken Salad Chick started in Alabama in 2008 in the kitchen of Stacy Brown when she discovered that the local county health department would not allow her to continue making and selling her recipes out of her home kitchen.

Brown overcame that obstacle by launching her first restaurant with the business expertise of Kevin Brown, her future husband and fellow founder. The pair opened a small takeout restaurant, which quickly grew and began franchising in 2012.

Kevin Brown died in 2015 after a 2-year-battle with cancer.

Eagle Merchant Partners purchased a majority stake in Chicken Salad Chick in 2015. The company has 104 restaurants across the Southeast. The surge in franchise development also includes new restaurants in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina.

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