This Southern-tinged franchise born in Alabama delivers on its name: You can expect no less than 15 flavors of the cool lunchtime treat—plus broccoli salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, soup, deli sandwiches (direct quote from the menu: “for those of you who have been dragged here by a chicken salad lover and are refusing to try something new”) and cookies.
The sweet yet sassy “Chick” stylized in the brand is founder Stacy Brown, and all of the namesake dishes are actually named after her family and friends, from her daughters to her mother-in-law to her college roommate. When you’re ordering a Classic Carol (the signature blend), Barbie-Q (a hickory-smoked accent) or Luau Lydia (with pineapple chunks and macadamia nuts), you can take a look behind you and see a picture on the wall with all the “Chicks” and their corresponding salads.
In fact, one thing that makes this counter service spot feel more homespun than another fast-casual eatery like Panera or Chipotle is how much of the founder’s personality is infused in every aspect—even the look, with a green palette, white trimming and floral tablecloths, evokes a country kitchen. But more importantly, to honor her co-founder, Brown’s husband, Kevin Brown, who was influential from the start and sadly succumbed to a battle with cancer late last year, the company started the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation to donate money to the American Cancer Society and local hunger programs. Millions have been raised to date, and at the Naples opening yesterday, a check was presented to the Harry Chapin Food Bank (there are also various customer giveaways the first week, including hand sanitizer on the 18th, golf ditty pouches on the 19th, bottle coolers on the 20th and koozies on the 21st).
To plan a visit:
11180 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.