Battling the corporate warriors

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial 

Since he was a kid growing up next to the bustling chaos of Disney World, Jeff Webster dreamed of opening his own restaurant on day.

He immediately fell in love with the fast-paced environment of the food industry and the hard work that comes along with it, but more importantly, the customer service of providing good food and a friendly face.

Now, Webster is set to open his third restaurant in Shelby County in the coming weeks, and the latest adds to the vision he had as a kid.

With Chicken Fry’d set to open in late May to early June in Chelsea, he will be opening more of a quick-service restaurant to rival chain restaurants such as Chick-fil-A, Zaxby’s and others.

As the owner of both Main Street Tavern in Montevallo and Station 31 in Chelsea, Webster has planted his roots across the county and is now bringing his second business to Chelsea with Chicken Fry’d.

His goal remains the same as it was growing up in the hospitality industry—to provide great customer service to those who visit his restaurants.

Webster said that his restaurants are built around the people and that they are the reason he loves the business.

With opening Chicken Fry’d, which will feature chicken-inspired dishes such as chicken fingers and fires, chicken salad, sliders and other items, he has generated a lot of excitement.

The response has been similar to that of famous chain restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Arby’s, who recently announced they are also coming to Chelsea.

It’s a breath of fresh air to see a local startup have this success.

With forming his connections in both Chelsea and Montevallo, he has been able to create a business model that allows him to bring something Chelsea has been asking for, which is a quick-service chicken restaurant.

He’s beaten the popular chains there because he knows the city and what they want.

And while we all enjoy different options and going to chain restaurants, there is something special about someone who has relied on and trusted county residents to get his dream off the ground.

After a year where many local businesses struggled to survive, we need to continue to do our part to support them because they support our communities while trying to continually live their dream.

Of course we are going to visit corporate businesses, but  challenge yourself to make stops at great places like Chicken Fry’d or other local business owners that you know to show them your support.