TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee-based team is working to support Big Bend charities by building up new businesses. That team is working to bring Slim Chickens to the city and further that mission.
“We’re really excited to be in construction for our newest concept,” shared Kimberly Crowell. She and her husband, Angelo, are co-founders of Kalo Companies. That’s the firm behind this new business. The restaurant is going in next to The Centre of Tallahassee Mall.
“I’ve been with my college sweetheart since I was 18 years old,” Crowell explained. “One day, we decided we wanted to start a business together,” she said.
An attorney for years, Crowell said she transitioned into the restaurant franchise business to make a difference in her hometown of Tallahassee. The team opened their firstJersey Mike’s in the city in 2010. It’s a franchise known for partnering with charities in their surrounding communities. It started in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 1956 and has since grown to more than 2,000 locations.
“We’ve really focused on giving back as it relates to kids,” Crowell added.
Now, 12 years later, they’ve opened several Jersey Mike’s locations in the Big Bend area. Slim Chickens builds on their mission of giving back to the community. That franchise was hatched in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2003 before growing with locations now in surrounding states, including Georgia and Florida.
With the first franchise in Tallahassee, Crowell said she plans to build on charitable giving they’ve done in the past.
“With Boys Town, we did a partnership with them for many, many years. This past year, we partnered with our local special Olympics where we were able to help send athletes to the actual Olympic games in Orlando,” she added. “It’s really rewarding. We get to see it on a day-to-day basis. We get to provide economic opportunities. We get to watch people grow within our organization.”
“I’ve grown organically with Kim and Angelo for the last ten years. It’s the next step in my career,” explained Chris Rhoades. He is director of operations and overseeing this project. “It brings southern hospitality to the chicken industry. The idea behind it is it’s not just going to be a come in an order food and leave situation. You’re going to be treated like family when you walk in,” Rhoades said.
As construction progresses inside, they’re planning to hire up to 80 people to work here.
“Having the opportunity to bring jobs to the local community and give opportunities to grow in our community is what it’s all about,” added Angelo Crowell.
He is working with the team to fill those jobs and further the mission of giving back once this place is up and running. “Every year, on March 31stwe give 100 percentof our sales back to a local charity.”
It's that mission this group plans to continue as they prepare to fire up the kitchen.
When it comes to opening Slim Chickens, Kimberly Crowell said they’re shooting for December. She said with delays in construction and supply chain issues they would like to be open by the end of this year.