The weather was a little uncooperative, but it did little to stop the ribbon from being cut on the newest franchise to come to Troy.
The worst of the severe thunderstorms held off just in time for Slim Chickens and the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce to hold its ribbon cutting outdoors before a packed house at its new location at The Plaza in Troy on Aug. 10.
Still, it was anything but ordinary.
“It was certainly unconventional,” said Rachel South, executive director of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. “It didn’t put a damper on things, but it was still one of the more memorable ribbon cuttings we’ve ever had with the heavy rains and winds.”
Franchisee Mike Moreland said part of the opening festivities had to be shut down due to the storms, but the rain didn’t drown the celebration entirely.
“It was definitely exciting for a moment,” he said. “We lost power for about an hour-and-a-half (after the ribbon cutting), and we had to cancel the VIP festivities, but we were able to get everyone taken care of still.”
Slim Chickens’ opening is part of a 30-unit development deal in Southern Illinois and Missouri with R-Chicken, a division of R-Solution LLC. Moreland said Lincoln County was a perfect location for a store, with its proximity to a major highway, as well as other amenities.
“Troy is a good spot to open demographically,” he said. “It’s the county seat, and there weren’t a whole bunch a dining options here.”
Slim Chickens is a fresh and fast-casual chicken concept founded in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2003 inside a former sushi restaurant, and opened its first franchise location in 2013. Since then, locations have opened in the United Kingdom and the Persian Gulf.
“We’ve got a great product. We’ve got the freshest-quality chicken tenders on the market,” Moreland said. “Our niche is we have 17 different sauces to choose from.
“We’ve got something different for the Troy market to enjoy.”
Locally, South is happy to have a location much closer to home.
“We’re just super-excited to have Slim Chickens in town,” she said. “We’re always excited to have new growth and opportunity.”
Slim Chickens expects to grow well into the state as the years go by, and expects to be a household name within a decade.
“Within five to 10 years, if you live in Missouri or Southern Illinois, we want to have a Slim Chickens 30 minutes away from you,” Moreland said.